The Dedmon Center has been a topic of conflict here at RU. It used to be opened to all things RU no matter if someone was a student or an athlete.
People have had disagreements regarding Dedmon’s policy of being open only to student athletes. One thing everybody could agree on was that Dedmon needed to be redone.
Back in 2007-2008 Dedmon was closed to the public for renovations. Since the facility is air supported, large amounts of air is needed to keep the dome from collapsing.
During this time, people were having trouble exercising and doing what they had to do, thus came the renovations which also brought in a new weight room and a brand spanking new basketball court with a new lighting system. All in all, the project as a whole cost $15.8 million.
With such a dramatic change, Radford Athletic director Robert Lineburg believes that it is important for the student athletes to have exclusive rights to the Dedmon Center.
In a December 4th press release, Lineburg stressed “Priority Usage” which is understandable. When you have a school like RU competing with other schools at a high level, working out is “crucial” to its athletic success.
Lineburg also believes that since the student population is growing, sharing the Dedmon Center would cause the student athletes to lose focus, and that RU athletics would not be as successful.
One can’t argue with this as Radford Men’s Basketball team went on to win the Big South Conference and earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament for the second time in school history.
Although athletic success is very important, some students are not happy with the facilities that they have to workout in. Peters and Muse Hall, which are diminutive compared to the spaceship that is Dedmon, are the sites at which students can exercise.
Many students have complained about not being able to get on a machine while at Peters or Muse because of overcrowding. Some believe that opening the Dedmon Center to students would take care of this problem.
Student Kate Winslow said, “It would make it easier if Dedmon were open to students so that these problems wouldn’t be as bad.”
“It does get crowded, and spring break is almost here, so a lot of us students are going to be working out.” said Jenny Jenkins, a freshman here at RU.
There are approximately 9,000 plus students that make up Radford, but Dedmon is closed off to just under 300 student athletes.
“It’s like saying only Education Majors can use the TRC.” said Robin Hung, A junior education major and frequent exerciser.
Some students aren’t as phased as others are when it comes to Dedmon only being opened to student athletes.
“I don’t mind, I mean if it was open, distance would be a problem for students that live far away.” said Sarah Larson.
There is light at the end of the tunnel for students though. Radford University will be building a new fitness center for all the non-student athletes in the near future. The new facility is apart of a plan that will be bringing a new parking garage and residence halls.