SCHENECTADY – A concrete slab that sits just a few feet from the entrance to the Mohawk-Hudson Bike Trail at SUNY Schenectady will be home to a public fitness court by the end of the summer.
The court is one of two in Schenectady County, and one of nine being built in the Capital Region, as part of ongoing effort by MVP Healthcare in conjunction with partners in municipalities and the National Fitness Campaign — a wellness consulting firm — to create equal access to areas where people can workout.
SUNY Schenectady President Steady Moono said the school is honored to be one of the locations.
“Fitness is critical to the success of our students and to the success of our employees,” he said Wednesday during a press conference at the college.
Moono said its anticipated that either by mid-May or mid-June the court will be ready for use.
[ngg src=”galleries” ids=”28″ display=”basic_imagebrowser”]The other Schenectady County court will be located on Crane Street at the Orchard Park pocket park in Schenectady.
Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy said the new fitness course will better enable people to live healthy lifestyles.
“If you do some of those little things — in diet, a little bit of exercise — you reduce your healthcare costs,” he said. “You are healthier, [and then] the community is healthier.”
MVP provided $25,000 in funding for each of the courts, which cost around $175,000. The National Fitness Campaign provided another $25,000. The participating municipalities put forth the rest of the funds.
Albany County will get three locations; near the Gozzo Center at the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, near the Albany Rail Trail and at the South Ferry Street section of the South End Connectors, according to a press release. The city of Troy will have four locations; at 112 Street Park, Prospect Park, Beman Park and Knickerbocker Park.
“Today, we are making fitness free for everyone in our community,” said Ellen Sax, the vice president of community engagement for MVP.
The fitness courts will be 38 feet by 38 feet, according to Michelle Golden, the director of public relations for MVP.
The SUNY Schenectady location is in a floodplain.
“The fitness court is made of best-in-class materials for outdoor infrastructure, including dual-layer powder-coated carbon steel and aluminum, stainless steel and galvanized bolts and fittings, and an all-weather rubberized sports floor,” Golden said. “The fitness court is engineered and manufactured in the USA to last for decades in any climate in North America.”
The National Fitness Campaign has designed and trademarked the outdoor facility, which will also include a public mural as well as a mobile app that will allow users to participate in guided workouts and schedule group exercise.
“While MVP branding will be included on all fitness courts, each court will have a slight level of design uniqueness depending on the partner and site location,” Golden said.
SUNY Schenectady does not have any athletic facilities on campus, so the court will be a great asset to the college, said Steve Fragale, the dean of Student Affairs. He said a fitness or wellness club could be created in the future at the college, which would use the fitness court.
Reporter Shenandoah Briere can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on twitter at SB_DailyGazette.