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VLS Opens New Fitness Center

February 15, 2013

South Royalton, VT -- Vermont Law School held a ribbon-cutting ceremony yesterday to celebrate the grand opening of its new fitness center for students, faculty, and staff.  The project is the culmination of student efforts that begin in 2008 and involved significant work by the VLS Class of 2011 to secure a contemporary gym on campus.

Fitness Center.

Lori Campbell (Facilities Manager), Marc Mihaly (President & Dean), Rae Kinkead ’13 (President, VLS Student Bar Association), and Shirley Jefferson (Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Diversity) cut the ribbon to open the new VLS Fitness Center

The 4,100-foot, one-story fitness center includes a spinning and yoga studio, as well as an exercise room with a mix of free weights as well as cardiovascular and weight training machines, including new treadmills, ellipticals, and bikes for spinning. The facilities also include men's and women's locker rooms with showers and restrooms, and storage for yoga mats and clothing.

In addition, equipment from the VLS student gear shed -which includes kayaks, canoes, tents, fishing poles, mountain climbing equipment, cross country skis, poles, and boots, and ice skates -- has been relocated to a new storage facility adjacent to the fitness center.

In remarks made to students attending the opening ceremony, President and Dean Marc Mihaly commented on the commitment shown by VLS students to make this gym possible.  "This gym represents a very unusual effort.  VLS students from the Class of 2011 took it upon themselves in 2008 to address an issue knowing they would graduate before the gym could be built.  Their initiative says a lot about the character of VLS and its student community."

Fitness Center.

Shirley Jefferson (Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Diversity) receives instruction on how to use the new stair climbing machine from Dennis O’Neil of GymSource

The fitness center has a contemporary, environmentally sustainable design compatible with the historic architecture of South Royalton and Vermont Law School. 

Naturally sited in the slope of a hill to take advantage of constant soil temperatures, the VLS fitness center is highly energy efficient and uses low-maintenance materials with a natural feeling. The roof, walls, and high-performance windows are extensively insulated, and the southern roof has the potential for photovoltaics. The interior design features bamboo flooring, high-efficiency lighting, and natural cross-ventilation. Best management practices for storm-water runoff, including permeable pavement and rain gardens, have been followed.  Large windows with a high R-value exist throughout the building and provide a view of the White River.

Fitness Center.

Gymopening – spinning. The spinning and yoga studio at the VLS Fitness Center

The VLS fitness center was designed by the nationally renowned firm Eck, MacNeely Architects of Boston and built by E.F. Wall & Associates of Barre, VT, with David Laurin of White River Junction serving as the architect and owner representative on the project.

In addition to President and Dean Marc Mihaly, speakers at the ribbon cutting included Shirley Jefferson (Associate Dean for Student Affairs & Diversity), Rae Kinkead '13, (President, VLS Student Bar Association), and Jeremiah Eck, of Eck, MacNeely Architects.  Joining the grand-opening by phone was Jeff Shields, former President and Dean of Vermont Law School. 

The grand opening also included demonstrations of the new fitness center equipment by Dennis O'Neil of GymSource.

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