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Sunday, February 17

Brookdale Newsroom

LETTER: Keep Brookdale fitness center open

By: Asbury Park Press

The Brookdale Fitness Center floor is abuzz with discussions of the feared closure of this beloved space because the college’s trustees need to balance the budget. This comes when we are reminded daily of the vital importance of exercise by all medical and health professionals.

Solid options besides closure have been brought forward by the public and by Brookdale’s staff members. With ideas and expertise readily available, the fitness center can be self-sustaining and even bring in revenue. Already in place are state-of-the art equipment, a dedicated staff and a committed clientele. Income can grow by simply making this wonderful and affordable facility more widely known. Many Monmouth County residents have never heard of it. Other colleges are building expensive gyms on their campuses; Brookdale’s luster can be increased by retaining and further developing this excellent gym.

Above all, the center has a unique community spirit. All are comfortable here: students, community members, the growing senior population, cardio-rehab patients — the strong and the sleek and everyone else. If outsourcing is the chosen solution, this spirit may be lost. Besides, if a commercial firm can make it, why can’t Brookdale?

At a recent Board of Freeholders meeting, fitness center members came forward and spoke passionately of the need for the center. Freeholders expressed surprise at the intended closure as well as support for keeping the center open. On Dec. 11 Brookdale’s trustees will meet to hear the public again and vote a decision.

Barbara McGovern