The wait is over — Intramural Center and Natatorium reopen

Michael Ensley oversees students using the pool at GSU's new natatorium. (Photo by Glenn Lewis/University Communications)

After being closed for seven years and two years respectively, the Dr. Charles D. Henry Natatorium and the GSU Intramural Center were reopened on Feb. 28.

“We are glad to have gotten to this day. All thanks to the work that President Gallot has put in to ensure this project became a reality,” said Dr. Rudolph Ellis interim vice president for Student Affairs.

Ellis acknowledged that there is still more to be done, however he assured that all necessary work will be completed.

“We know we have some extra work to do, but rest assured all extra work in the center will be completed. I am glad and thankful that President Gallot and the team could serve and cater to the needs of students,” Ellis said.

The revamped facility is a significant improvement from the old one.

“This facility is an improvement as well as an extension from the old one. We now have an extended track, a weight room that is more spacious than the old one. Upstairs we have the cardio room so that those who want to do strictly cardio have their own space separate from weights. We also have a multipurpose room where we will have yoga and aerobics,” said Director of Recreation and Intramural Sports Terry Lilly.

For now the center is exclusively open to students, however programs where community members will be able to apply for membership are in the pipeline.

“As a student, you’ll have to bring your I.D. and a towel. You’ll have access to everything that’s inside. We are working on programs where community members will be able to purchase a membership,” Lilly said.

Students said they were happy about the center opening and feel it’s been a long time coming.

“Honestly, I am ecstatic about the whole thing. I have been waiting for it for quite a while. I am proud of Grambling State University for doing this. Furthermore, I am really impressed by the weight room. It (the weight room) has state-of-the-art equipment,” said junior Ke-Sean Peter.

Jawuana Sykes, a senior social work major, expressed his admiration for the weight room and swimming pool.
“I feel like it’s been a long time coming. It might have taken a while, but I’m glad it has finally come to fruition and everybody here is having a good time. The weight room and swimming pool are really impressive,” Sykes said.

Some students feel the center reopening will increase academic productivity.

“I love it, it will keep us doing activities that will refresh our minds and have us ready to tackle our books. You know, exercise
helps sharpen the mind,” said freshman Jouri Williams.

The intramural center and natatorium’s operating hours will be 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays. On Sundays, it will be closed.