School of Kinesiology open for use

New building and state-of-the-art labs will help department grow enrolment, director says

The School of Kinesiology’s teaching spaces will open for use next Monday.
The School of Kinesiology’s teaching spaces will open for use next Monday.
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One month after the Queen’s Centre’s Dec. 1 opening, there’s another new kid at the corner of Division and Union streets.

The new School of Kinesiology, which opened on Monday, will host an open house from noon to 4 p.m. today.

Students will have their classes in first-floor teaching spaces starting next Monday.

The new building is open for use, Kinesiology Department Director Jean Côté said, adding that the department has needed the facility for a long time.

“We were all over campus,” he said, adding that faculty offices were previously located in the PEC, which had a limited number of classrooms.

“With the new kinesiology degree that started two to three years ago, we have more of a need for undergraduate teaching,” Côté said.

The additional space in the new building allows the department to grow their undergraduate program enrolment, he said.

“We never had any problem with enrolment,” he said. “We have over 1,000 people applying each year.” Côté said the new building will also impact research in the department with two new, state-of-the-art laboratories.

“One is for physical education for people with disabilities; this is a place where we have a big room and equipment for people to use,” he said. “They will be part of research projects but at the same time, it services the community.”

Côté said the second lab is for biochemical research.

He has high hopes for the department, he said.

“I think we’re going to keep the same trajectory we’re on,” he said, adding that he thinks the new facility will give the department a higher profile externally.

“We’re allowed to grow and attract students and new faculty members whenever there is possibility to grow.”

Côté said the kinesiology department collaborates with Athletics and Recreation at the ARC.

“We’re still involved with Athletics and Recreation in terms of activity courses,” he said. “We have some links in terms of athletic therapy because they’re using some of our students.”

The School of Kinesiology open house will follow the Queen’s Centre’s official opening ceremony at 10:30 a.m. in the ARC Main Gym.

Côté will speak at the ceremony along with University representatives. There will also be student entertainment. More than 200 guests are expected.

Mike LeBlanc, Athletics and Recreation marketing, communication and events manager, said he thinks the first month of the ARC’s opening has been a success.

“The fact that we had a soft opening helped,” he said, adding that receiving e-mail feedback from students has helped them work out any improvements they need to make. “The past couple of days have been incredible—every piece of equipment has been used,” he said.

LeBlanc said he’s been unofficially keeping track of students’ use of the Queen’s Centre facilities.

“Any time I seem to walk around the building, everything is full,” he said. “The cardio areas with the TVs have been especially popular.”

The ARC uses a different security system than the PEC did, LeBlanc said.

“We’ve just started using a security system where students swipe [their student cards] through,” he said. “Monday was the first day this system was used and 4,000 people came through that day.” LeBlanc said that compared to an average weekly number of 15,000 student users at the PEC, the athletics department is looking at roughly double the number of people at the ARC per week.

Although gym use tends to increase at the beginning of the year when people make resolutions to keep healthy, LeBlanc said he doesn’t expect ARC attendance to decrease by much as the year progresses.

“The students have been great,” LeBlanc said. “There’s a bigger and brighter space with new equipment and natural light. … Feedback has been fantastic.”

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