Aerial view of the Dowagiac campus

Renovated SMC Fitness Center reopens

06/12/2019 - 9am
Fresh look for the Fitness Center

Following a quick renovation, the Fitness Center on Southwestern Michigan College’s Dowagiac campus reopened for business on June 5.

Plumbing in the Charles O. Zollar Building, built in 1970, had developed drainage issues which SMC’s award-winning Building and Grounds Department wanted to address, as it does proactively with maintenance concerns across campus. It was determined the best time to tackle this project was immediately following this spring’s graduation to minimize disruption for students.

The one-month project came at an opportune time to re-imagine the space and update its layout. On-campus and community users were surveyed. Their input slightly altered the mix of cardio equipment, upgraded flooring to better support a range of weight machines, added mirrors, arranged space to provide more room for stretching, core exercises and kettlebells and improve flow around free-weight training.

“Workout preferences change over time,” President Dr. David Mathews said. “We’re always listening to students and looking to affordably improve the experience for them, our employees and our other members.”

Fresh look for the Fitness Center

The fitness center is part of the renovated and expanded Student Activity Center (SAC) which was re-dedicated Aug. 16, 2009, along with Keith H. McKenzie Hall, the first of three student residences. Originally dedicated on Sept. 20, 1970, the Zollar Building was named for this area’s 1965-78 state senator who championed community colleges in the Legislature. Sen. Zollar died in 1988.

The SAC, the hub for student life, also features a coffee and snack bar, a video game room, pool, ping pong and foosball tables, three resistance pools, The Canyon rock room with a 35-foot climbing wall and 12-foot bouldering wall, an 80-seat event theatre, a large-screen TV, plus a gymnasium and racquetball courts.

Zollar Café sells coffee, smoothies, sandwiches and breakfast items. Outdoor venues include six miles of wooded trails and soccer, softball and flag football fields. Fitness classes include yoga, Zumba and Body Pump. There are an outdoor patio and WiFi access.

“We’re proud of the facility and encourage those interested in using it to come take a look,” SAC Manager Bill Roggeman added.

SAC admission is free for current students. Summer hours are Monday-Thursday, 6:30 a.m.-8 p.m.; Friday, 6:30 a.m.-6 p.m.; and Saturday, 8 a.m.-noon.

Community members may buy three-month, six-month and 12-month memberships. Members must be 16 years of age. Day passes are also available for purchase. Call 800-456-8675, 782-1484 or email for more information.