COOKEVILLE – Tennessee Tech University’s Marc L. Burnett Student Recreation and Fitness Center was recently named among the 2021 Outstanding Facilities Award winners by the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA). NIRSA bases their choices on multiple factors, including architectural design and how the building fulfills the mission of campus recreation to serve students in different aspects of well-being.
Tech’s new fitness center opened to students in summer 2020. Better known by students as “The Burn,” this building provides a new identity for campus life.
“Full student well-being: beyond what you learn, beyond where you live, but where you go to destress, handle conflict, center yourself and to cope with everything that college life can be,” said Les Fralix, Coordinator of University Recreation and Intramurals. “It can be great, fun and wonderful… but it can also be tough. Saying to students, ‘We’re here. We’re ready.’ These doors have something for you, and if we don’t, come and let us know and we’ll try to make that happen.”
According to Fralix, from the middle of August until now, first-time freshmen are the largest group of people that are utilizing The Burn. By reaching first-time freshmen the building is shaping their impressions of life on campus.
Fralix said, “They will see it and think, ‘This is the place where I belong, where I will spend my free time.’”
The center is also a big draw for prospective students.
Fralix emphasizes that having first-time experiences that are new and unique for students is the goal of The Burn. The Burn provides students with an area to make memories and engage in activities that cannot be found elsewhere.
The 157,000 square foot facility houses intramural sports, health promotions, varsity spirit squads, aerobics classes, a 25-yard swimming pool, cardiovascular equipment, cable machines, free-weights, a 1/5 of a mile track, rock climbing wall, game rooms and more.
From 3 p.m. on throughout the day, The Burn is typically booming and full of people – which is ideal for a new campus addition.
One upcoming installation to the equipment at The Burn will be QR codes that demonstrate how to use certain equipment. Even if someone is not available to answer questions, visitors can scan a QR code that will tell them exactly what workouts they can do.
Fralix, along with The Burn staff, looks forward to what’s to come.