Claflin cuts ribbon on new wellness center

Feb 09, 2019

President Dr. Henry N. Tisdale cuts the ribbon for the health-wellness complex. (Panther photo by Tasha Skinner)

Claflin University held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Wellness Complex immediately after the annual Spring Convocation on Thursday, Jan. 24.

President Dr. Henry N. Tisdale cut the ribbon to the new center. The facility includes a new gym, fitness center, demonstration kitchen, walking track, office space, classrooms and outdoor space.

The facility is a cultural feature for Orangeburg County and is designed to serve Claflin and the community.

Claflin students are ready to put it to use. Some say this is the biggest addition to the campus ever.

Sophomore Justin Barno from Sumter is very excited that the gym has finally come together. “I am very proud of Claflin University for this addition. I got tired of just using the small workout area in the commons dormitory. Now I can exercise in a full facility."

Before the wellness center addition, Claflin's only workout area was in The Commons dormitory. It consisted of a room with treadmills and another room with different weight-training equipment.

Tre Jeter from Spartanburg, who runs track for Claflin, said the facility is very impressive for an HBCU. “I have seen a lot of gyms in my lifetime, and this one is one of the best HBCU facilities I have ever seen."​

Amber Price said, "The new gym is very nice. The gym allows not only the Claflin community to use it. The Orangeburg community also has opportunity to use it as well.

"The gym allows the Orangeburg community as a whole to come together, I’m hopeful that it will decrease the crime in the community and occupy everyone's time in a positive way," Price said.

​But there are concerns.

Rosetta Mitchell said, “I feel like the new gym is a great amenity and it will be used very often. I do not appreciate that they have delayed the opening and after the official opening it's now closed again. ..."

"I’m not sure but it’s not fair to the students that have been waiting. There are seniors that may not even get the chance to utilize the new gym," Mitchell said.

Naomi Anderson  said, “They have no one to supervise it right now. So there wasn’t really a need to open it if they weren’t really going to open the gym until they had supervision."

Khyree Grey said the priority should be Claflin students.

“Personally, I feel like the gym should only be open to Claflin students," he said. "Athletes have their gym, so let us non-athletes have our own where we can work out and play basketball.

"Aside from that, I also feel like it should be 24 hours because it’s a gym and a court. At other schools, their gyms are open 24 hours, so we should do the same so we can enjoy working out or hooping.”

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