Oregon State is a leading public research university located in Corvallis, which is consistently ranked among the best college towns in the nation – as well as one of the smartest, safest and most sustainable. It is Oregon’s largest university with over 30,000 students.
Dixon Recreation Center is one of the main social hubs of activity on the Oregon State University campus. It is a massive three story facility that includes a multitude of different workout areas ranging from cardio and weight rooms to a pool, climbing wall and indoor track.
The Department of Recreational Sports has established itself as an essential campus partner in student wellness and a healthy campus through staff passion, innovation, and a steadfast commitment to creating dynamic learning experiences.
Barry Evans, Fitness Equipment Coordinator, was asked to build on this principle and create a long-term plan for the Dixon Recreation Center. Knowing that a critical component to the success of their recreation center was keeping their equipment in top working condition while maintaining a clean and inviting environment, he determined there needed to be a program in place to maintain and repair their fitness equipment on a regular basis. This idea paired with his passion for impacting and teaching students is what led to Barry’s innovative idea of a student led Equipment Maintenance Program.
Barry pitched his Equipment Maintenance Program idea to the University by emphasizing the fact that servicing fitness equipment on a regular basis, whether purchased from a vendor or implemented in-house, is a critical component to the equipment’s longevity and functionality. In addition, providing clean and fully functioning fitness equipment to their exercisers would create a positive atmosphere and the community would feel an overall sense of pride for their University.
Preventative maintenance results in minimal equipment downtime, reduced repair costs and an extension of the life of the fitness equipment. Overall, this is a great way to protect their investment. In addition, research has proven that members are happier and stay an average of three months longer at facilities with higher equipment uptime. By developing an in-house program, there are additional benefits of providing hands-on growth opportunities for students that directly impact the surrounding community.
Since implementing a student led Equipment Maintenance Program, Oregon State University has experienced minimal down time on their equipment, maintaining a goal of less than 24 hours down on average. Attendance has increased, faculty memberships have expanded, and repair costs have declined.
The intangible results have been equally as positive. Oregon State University is providing opportunities for students to thrive in a safe, fun and encouraging environment. The Dixon Recreation Center is being utilized as a recruiting tool and students are showcasing the center to their family and friends. Finally, seeing students on the floor maintaining the machines has resulted in positive feedback from participants in regards to the exercise equipment, Dixon Recreation Center and Oregon State University.