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Gentile Hall gets $40,000 in new equipment

The Gentile Hall fitness center at the University of Maine at Presque Isle recently installed just over $40,000 in new strength training equipment, replacing the original strength machines installed when the facility opened in January 2006.

In just under two years, this brings the total to over $80,000 in equipment upgrades at the 14-year-old facility. Last year, the fitness center was outfitted with new cardio machines, including ellipticals, a step mill, and recumbent and upright bikes.

The 13 new pieces of strength training equipment, which target various muscle groups, are the latest models available from the Matrix Versa Series. These particular machines offer repetition counters and timers for an improved user experience. Another highlight of the purchase are dual-purpose stations that have helped to open up the 4,000-square-foot room for better traffic flow. Pro Gym Supply from New Hampshire delivered and installed the new equipment in January.

In the free weight area, new 20-80 lb. dumb bell sets were installed. According to Dick Gardiner, Director of Gentile Hall, the plan is to finish this area of the fitness center with new racks and benches this summer.

Gardiner said the response to the new equipment has been very positive: “Our members have quickly expressed their pleasure with the new machines, enjoying the new features that are designed to keep them motivated.”

As part of the new installation, Keli Marston, Gentile Hall Fitness and Wellness Coordinator, has been busy conducting orientations on the new equipment. She welcomes any current member or anyone interested in joining to reach out for assistance.

The new equipment is expected to greatly improve the user experience for Gentile Hall members, and Gardiner said it’s because of the many users of the facility that these upgrades were able to happen.

“Our replacement plan goal is only able to be implemented due to the strong community support we receive at Gentile Hall,” Gardiner said. “We’re very lucky to have such a great membership and we encourage others to check out our facility and see what we have to offer.”

Gentile Hall is named for its largest private donor, Caroline D. Gentile. 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. Through her extraordinary long range planning abilities and her more than a half century as a classroom teacher, she created a physical education program and a legacy of promoting health and wellness that continues to serve The County, the State, and regions beyond.

For information about Gentile Hall or memberships, call 768-9772 or visit www.umpi.edu/gentile-hall.