Ridgeway gym busy and inconvenient for students

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With Suffolk opening the 20 Somerset building this fall, the Ridgeway building has been put on the open market. In previous talks, former Suffolk Athletic Director Jim Nelson believed that Suffolk might have been able to capitalize on a new facility by New Balance in Brighton that was meant for the Boston Bruins. But that idea never came to fruition, and it’s been just speculation for the Suffolk community.

“Tight, small and uncomfortable” are just a few words used by junior communications major, Stacey Cote to describe Suffolk’s Ridgeway Gym.

The Ridgeway gym is home to three sports teams and the small recreational gym, which is open to all students. The gym lacks space and a proper location for Suffolk students to work out. With two of Suffolk’s residence halls, 150 Tremont and 10 West, more than half a mile away the location has been seen as a negative by students across the Common

Although those residence halls have small workout areas, they are nothing to the degree of Ridgeway. The matter of location has been an issue Cote has dealt with by going to Boston Sports Club’s Downtown Crossing location. It is less than half the distance and under a 5 minute walk to Ridgeway and with a busy academic schedule along with better equipment, less wait time and a better location. The problem has been that students like Cote are having to pay for a gym they should have included into tuition.

Some schools like Tufts and Babson have already connected students to a gym if they are not on campus or if they are studying at the dental or medical school located in Chinatown. Boston Sports Clubs Membership Consultant, Tionne Talbot, believes BSC can be a solution to local college gym problems.

“Tufts has had a partnership with BSC for many years, and Tufts students have enjoyed the Tufts deal as well as the student membership which is only available at certain times of the year,” said Talbot.

For now, Cote believes Suffolk needs to fork up an investment in a local area gym, such as BSC, to give Suffolk students a discount.

“I understand, personally, that Suffolk can’t hand out free memberships to every student, but I hope they can at least give a discounted BSC rate so that students who regularly workout can have proper equipment and space and not be bunched up and waiting for workout stations such as they do in Ridgeway,” she said.

Suffolk has been pushing hard to leave the Beacon Hill area, and have acted on that commitment by investing in 20 Somerset. With limited space the Suffolk community will likely have to look outside Beacon Hill as it has done before in search of a larger athletic facility. Along with selling the Donahue and Archer buildings, less students may venture to the gym than before.

“I hope BSC can expand partnerships with schools around the area such as Suffolk, Emerson College and Fisher College, who don’t have large gyms,” said Talbot, “And give students who don’t have a proper gym, a workout home for the average student as well as student athletes.”