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MICA Will Open Comprehensive Wellness Center this Fall

Center Combines Health, Fitness, Counseling Offerings in One Expanded Location

Posted 08.05.11 by MICA communications

Students exercise in the former fitness center. The new location will have improved facilities for classes.

BALTIMORE--This fall, Maryland Institute College of Art will expand its health, fitness, and counseling offerings by opening a one-stop-shop in the 1501 Mount Royal Building. The new center has been designed to cater to artists in every aspect and will make more than triple the amount of fitness space available to students. Bringing together the Student Health, Student Counseling and MICA Fitness branches under one roof is a key part in implementing a comprehensive health service at the College.

"The vision is to help visually connect the three aspects of physical health and mental health-Student Health, Student Counseling, and MICA Fitness-by having them in one campus building," said J. Davidson "Dusty" Porter, vice president of student affairs and dean of students. "Through their proximity, students will be able to psychologically understand the connections between promoting healthy outcomes and preventing risky behaviors and how health, mental health and resilience are connected and can be influenced by healthy decision making."

Inside the new fitness center will be brand new exercise equipment, including treadmills, elliptical machines, bikes, strength circuit and free weights, plus two large LCD televisions. There will be a designated stretching area and a large group exercise room with a sound system, plus private showers and lockers. The number of staff members has increased and opening hours will be expanded, in part to accommodate enhanced fitness class offerings that will include yoga, kickboxing, Aikido, self-defense and strength training, with more to be added in the future. Programming space will be available to run small groups and workshops around topics such as nutrition, relaxation techniques and sexual health. A Bike Share program run by the Students for a Sustainable Campus will also find a new home in the facility.

"We're looking to be very inclusive and personal," said Aaron Roppolo, the fitness center manager. "It really comes back to you as an individual."

"We want to be very much open to suggestions and change because we're not just your average fitness center, we're a MICA fitness center," added Roppolo. "We want whatever is going to interest our students."

Open houses for students, faculty and staff will take place from mid- to late-September.

"Ideally, students will see faculty and staff making use of the fitness center and understand that health is vital to being able to make art and design," Porter said. 

To encourage healthy decision making, MICA's 2011 graduating class has directed their Senior Class Gift to the new center.

Image Caption: Students exercise in former fitness center. The new location will have improved facilities for classes.

Founded in 1826, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is the oldest continuously degree-granting college of art and design in the nation. The College enrolls nearly 3,500 undergraduate, graduate and continuing studies students from 49 states and 52 countries in fine arts, design, electronic media, art education, liberal arts, and professional studies degree and non-credit programs. With art and design programs ranked in the top ten by U.S. News and World Report, MICA is pioneering interdisciplinary approaches to innovation, research, and community and social engagement. Alumni and programming reach around the globe, even as MICA remains a cultural cornerstone in the Baltimore/Washington region, hosting hundreds of exhibitions and events annually by students, faculty and other established artists.