Here at HAC, our staff continuously strives to meet new member expectations. We pride ourselves as a club on being flexible enough to adjust to the needs of our community, and our large-scale weight room transformation back in 2013 is a great reflection of that HAC value.
written by Bettinita Harris
The heavy labor began late on a Friday afternoon. Workers broke down strength training equipment and moved it out. Those who had purchased old equipment carted it away.
By the time the Hockessin Athletic Club opened at 7 a.m. the next day, Dec. 28, the weight room was transformed from cramped quarters to a spacious state-of-the-art facility.
The size of the weight room had increased overnight by 50 percent and more than 30 pieces of new equipment were added to complement existing equipment like the crossover cables and the Smith machines.
“The renovation was done with the intent of improving our customers’ experience,” said John Peoples, HAC general manager. “I believe it reinforces that Hockessin Athletic Club is consistently willing to invest in the facility to improve the customer environment.”
A sampling of HAC members finds that many say they are pleased with the $70,000 renovation.
“It’s a major improvement, and us regular users appreciate it very much,’’ said Don Finney, a long-term HAC member.
“Discussions about upgrading the weight room began in late June 2013 during a weekly managers’ meeting,” Peoples said.“It was felt that the previous setup was not safe given the number of people who use the space. Also [the weight room was] not up to the standards that we have set up for ourselves at the club.”
When HAC opened in 2007, the free weight area was located on the main fitness floor. But because of noise issues, Peoples said, the weight room was soon moved to the lower level and was housed in a 2,000-square-foot space next to the area used for Acro Tumbling, one of HAC’s Youth Enrichment and Sports (YES) programs.
During the renovation, the two facilities exchanged places, giving the weight room the larger area of about 3,000 square feet.
The area used for tumbling received a new inflatable tumble track set and new flooring at a cost of $30,000. In the weight room, Peoples said HAC kept some of the previous equipment and the rest was sold to HAC employees or donated.
HAC purchased more than 30 pieces of equipment. Peoples said key factors in choosing the new equipment were customer input and the need to include standard pieces necessary for a well-equipped free weight area, such as benches and squat racks.
The new equipment, Precor’s USA Icarian Line, includes six Olympic benches, at least five adjustable benches, angled leg press, hack slide, FTS Glide Functional Training System, T-bar row, Smith machine, hack rack, seated preacher curl, vertical knee-up, back extension and a seated calf raise. There also is a Torque Fitness Pull-up and Hack Rack Combo Station and two barbell racks (one set of straight bars, the other with EZ curl bars), new dumbbells and a Roman chair.
HAC member Kate Madden said she likes the mirrors that line the two walls of the weight room and the new flooring. Madden said she was most happy with the return of the vertical knee-up machine.
Because there is more equipment, HAC member Kevin Mack said working out is more convenient.
“It [the weight room] is vastly improved,” said Mack, who has been a HAC member for seven years. “It’s spacious. More equipment means less waiting time during peak hours.”
While most HAC members’ comments were positive, some expressed concern that there is not a water fountain in the new weight room, as was the case in the previous area.
Peoples said, “HAC is working on a solution. And stay tuned for possible future upgrades to the weight room. We are continually evaluating equipment for the space.”