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TODAY news for Thursday, February 9, 2006

Loma Linda University news

Drayson Center celebrates 11 years of service

Drayson Center outside view
As both the University and Medical Center grow, Drayson Center is preparing to meet increased needs for programs, activities, and facilities.
Wednesday, January 11, marked the 11th year that Loma Linda University Drayson Center has been serving students, staff, and the community as a center for fitness, recreation, and wellness.

To celebrate, Drayson Center was open during its normal hours of 5:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. The same aerobics and leisure classes that normally take place on Wednesday were held.

Some members worked out in the cardio and weight rooms, changed and showered in the newly renovated locker rooms, baked in the saunas or soaked in the Jacuzzi, or swam laps in the pool.

Other members walked the indoor or outdoor tracks, or took part in the evening’s intramural leagues on the 10-plus-acre Superfield or in the Opsahl Gymnasium.

Still others enjoyed badminton in the gym, racquetball on one of six indoor courts, or tennis on one of the six outdoor lighted courts.

After 11 years of service, the facility remains well maintained, retaining its upscale and modern look—while continuing to accommodate more than 10,000 people on average in a given week.

Additionally, existing programs continue to develop and grow, and new ones are regularly added to better serve the membership. For example, in the area of aerobics, new classes added include pilates, gentle yoga, and chair aerobics.

The early morning and evening hours continue to be the busiest times. There is little or no room for growth during these hours within the existing facility.

However, nearly 1,000 seniors enjoy full use of the facility during the weekday senior hours of 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and all day Sunday.

In addition, the facility will be increasingly utilized by physically challenged individuals during these same hours as a result of a partnership with the Rehabilitation Institute’s PossAbilities Program.

Fitness equipment has already been purchased that is fully wheelchair-accessible. Additional pieces of equipment are in the plans, and programs and services are being developed to better meet the needs of physically challenged students, staff, and community members.

Now, as Loma Linda University continues to expand its academic programs and increases its student population to 5,000 by the year 2010 (as planned), and as Loma Linda University Medical Center considers its own major expansion projects, Drayson Center will need to grow as well to accommodate the swelling campus populations.

Drayson Center is also poised to serve as a major component in both employee and student wellness programs that are currently under consideration.

In spite of being faced with rising energy costs and other challenges, Drayson Center administration and staff will continue their efforts to provide quality fitness, recreational, and wellness programs in a well-maintained facility for the benefit of students, staff, and the community.

By Larry Kidder, MA

TODAY news for Thursday, February 9, 2006