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Gentile Hall installs more than $60,000 in new equipment

Wednesday, 09 December 2009

More than $60,000 in new equipment has been installed at Gentile Hall thanks to the Legacy Gift given to the institution earlier this year by the late Caroline D. Gentile, the University of Maine at Presque Isle's longest serving faculty member. The equipment is helping to increase energy efficiency in the campus building and provide more options for exercise facility patrons.

A $50,000 pool cover system and about $13,000 in exercise equipment have been put in place at the health and wellness center this fall. Officials were able to purchase these items because of Miss Gentile's efforts during her lifetime to promote health and physical education, which are continuing now through her Legacy Gift.

In Spring 2009, officials with the University and its Foundation Board announced that through gifts and the estate of Miss Gentile, as she was known to so many, UMPI had received more than $1 million - making it the largest gift that had been given to an educational institution in the County's history. Officials plan to utilize the gift for improvements to Gentile Hall as well as recreation and physical education-related activities.

"These gifts are going to help to preserve Gentile Hall for many years to come and to give patrons high quality equipment to work with," Dick Gardiner, Director of Gentile Hall, said. "Miss Gentile would have approved of her gift being used to provide campus and community members with a positive experience every time they visit."

The pool cover for the Gentile Hall pool is automatic and deploys and retracts at the touch of a button.

"It's easy enough for one person to operate and can be used multiple times on a daily basis, which is going to allow us to cover the pool whenever it's not in use," Gardiner said.

The pool cover is expected to save an estimated $16,000 annually in energy costs, or about a three-year payback. Gardiner said the cover is creating savings in terms of the heating of the pool water, chemicals, and the replenishing of water from evaporation.

The exercise equipment includes a new addition to the highly popular elliptical cross-training machines. Gardiner said patrons already have commented on how happy they are to have a fourth elliptical machine in the facility. Other additions include two new treadmills and two refurbished treadmills. Gardiner noted that the new machines seem to be a "little quicker," which is especially beneficial for those looking to maximize their workout experience.

Miss Gentile served the University for 59 years. She was hired in 1946 by Dr. Clifford O.T. Wieden to teach at the then Aroostook State Normal School, and build its Health, Physical Education and Recreation program (HPER). Through her extraordinary long range planning abilities and her more than a half-century as a classroom teacher, she created a physical education program that continues to serve the County, the State, and regions beyond.

For more information about Gentile Hall or obtaining a membership, contact 768-9772 or visit www.umpi.edu/gentile-hall.