The University of Dallas Rome Program received a facelift thanks to the Rome Expansion renewal campaign. The expansion created a new space for students to exercise on the Due Santi campus.
“It all came into being because of the Rome expansion renewal campaign,” said Ben Gibbs, director of Student Affairs in Rome. “So with the expansions made to the residence halls and to the mensa in particular, we were able to take the existing palestra which was in the ground hall of the residence hall, tucked away in a corner where there wasn’t enough space for more than a few people to exercise at a time. We were able to move it to the basement level of mensa.”
In addition to creating a new space for gym equipment, the campus purchased a new half-squat rack and chin-up bar. The campus also added padding to the tile floor so that students can drop weight freely without damaging the floor beneath.
Gibbs hopes with “additions like the squat rack, that also has a guard on it with a platform that is meant for platform exercises, that it is a bit safer for students to exercise on the Rome campus.”
The new equipment was received with positive feedback from current Romers. David Schmerber, a sophomore, said the “small” palestra “covers the essential areas.”
“The hope is that with this new equipment and with this new space that was enabled by the Rome expansion campaign students can continue to exercise and keep up with their physical health in particular. Hopefully the students athletes in Irving will have increased opportunity to keep their fitness up while they are here on the Rome campus,” Gibbs said.
The University of Dallas Rome program also looks to the future for more renovations. Dr. Peter Hatlie, Rome Program Director, confirmed in an email to The University News that a contract has been finalized for a new super-ecological tennis, volleyball and basketball court. The campus will break ground on Nov.11, 2019. The court will be named in honor of Robert Galecke, a long-serving administrator at the University of Dallas.
“This is a study abroad, but it really is 360 degrees kind of college campus. It’s a mini UD, and not many universities have that,” said Hatlie.