Upon arriving at USC this fall, I was only aware of the Strom Thurmond Center students and faculty have been raving about. Little did I know that the University of South Carolina operates another workout facility located on Wheat Street, the Solomon Blatt PE Center. The Blatt PE Center is meager in comparison to the extensive activities, equipment, classes and more Strom has to offer. The assumption that a majority of students use Strom’s facilities more than Blatt's leads us to the question, “Why is USC still operating two ﬁtness venues?”
Strom Thurmond comes with a large amount of various courts and ﬁelds for playing team sports including badminton, indoor and outdoor volleyball, basketball, soccer, ﬂoor hockey and squash. The facility comes equipped to accommodate people who are looking for a cardiovascular or strength workout, to attend a ﬁtness class or to sit out by the pool. It even comes with a 52-foot rock climbing wall and an indoor track. Although Strom seems to provide everything a college student might need, Blatt provides what Strom lacks.
The Blatt PE Center, although it is smaller, provides certain facilities Strom does not, as well as a unique workout atmosphere. The Solomon Blatt PE Center comes with three dance studios and a natatorium with a diving pool. The facility also offers a rugby ﬁeld and a softball ﬁeld.
In order to get a better feel for what facility students prefer, I interviewed a student on my hallnamed Kahlab Simmons. He said that although he did enjoy Strom, he prefers working out at Blatt because it is closer to his dorm, Columbia Hall, and because Blatt is quieter and not as busy.
Not only does Blatt provide a workout facility for students, it is also home to classrooms for students of various majors including Exercise Science and Physical Education. Blatt is a multi-
purpose facility that combines exercise and education whereas Strom just provides a workout area.
After visiting both gyms, I have come to the conclusion that running two ﬁtness venues is more beneﬁcial than running one. There are far more advantages than disadvantages in running both facilities. Having two gyms allows students to choose between a quiet environment versus a venue that is loud and busy and gives students who live on the opposite side of campus from Strom a closer place to work out.
I would personally choose Strom over Blatt despite the distance from my dorm because I enjoy a sense of community when working out which motivates me to work harder. That is the beauty of having two gyms to choose from; students can go to either gym they feel most comfortable working out in which makes the money the UofSC is spending to keep both gyms operating worth while.