After seven years of hard work, the $11 million much-anticipated Anna Fascitelli Fitness and Wellness center opened to the University of Rhode Island on October 8, 2013. Almost a year later, the question has arisen: Was the new fitness center worth the wait and the money.

Leticia Orozco, coordinator of fitness and wellness programs, explained the

progress that has been made since the opening of the center and all of the new programs they now have to offer. Since freshman move-in weekend commenced on August 29 until now, there have been an estimated 1,200 visitors to the center each day. Orozco claims that everyday since, the numbers have increased with positive feedback.

Since the current freshman class is one of biggest classes URI has had, the lines for both Fascitelli and URI’s older gym, Mackal Field House, will be even greater than usual. Orozco explained how after students begin to settle in this semester, the amount of people going to Fascitelli and Mackal will even out.

“Having the Mackal Field House on campus is a benefit for everyone,” says Orozco. “It’s never been a competition.”

Starting next week, Fascitelli will offer group exercise classes. One class in particular will deal with healthy food options, where the center will collaborate with Dining Services, offering ideas on how to eat healthy while handling school work. Other programs include “Thirsty Thursdays” and “Dream Big Week,” which will focus around the freshman’s summer reading book, “The Last Lecture.” More programs will begin to be listed as the semester continues.

“The more staff we have, the more beneficial programs we can offer,” Orozco said.

Fascitelli Building Manager Madison Mone is proud of all the work the center has accomplished over these last 11 months.

“The Fascitelli Center was 100 percent worth building,” said Mone. “It offers a lot

more convenience to students on campus.”

Mone said although the extra fitness classes and trainers cost money for the university, a membership to the 33,000 square feet gym with over 60 cardio equipment, training machines, olympic bars, and stretch areas, are available with no additional fee to students.

Overall, Orozco is content with the center’s increasing visitation, and is excited to continue to uphold their goal, which is “to be here for the students.”