Baker center granted much-needed renovations
By Blair Stalder
September 1, 2012
The Baker Fitness Center closed this summer due to renovation, which not only benefited the students and community, but the soccer team as well.
The renovations cost a little over $220,000, which included redoing the front desk area, knocking down the wall between the cardio and the multi-purpose room to expand the area and taking out the old coaches offices for a larger multi-purpose room fit for classes and other activities.
A new locker room was also implemented for the Arizona Cardinals during Chiefs Camp. However, the area is now a permanent home for one of the sports teams on campus.
Eight years ago, the soccer team was brought into the world of Missouri Western sports. During those eight years, however, the team was not really awarded with its own personal locker room – instead the women’s swimming locker room was used.
“We would occasionally get sidetracked with old women and young girls coming in and out (of the locker room) during pregame talks,” senior soccer player Erin Widrig said. “It was pretty distracting.”
Athletic Director Kurt McGuffin said the number one goal of the Baker renovations was to give soccer locker room not only because it is the only team without its own locker room, but for other reasons.
“Soccer is our biggest participation female sport of the six women’s sports we have with over 20 student-athletes, and for them to not have a home locker room was not in the best interest of MWSU.”
Although Widrig’s a senior and will only use it for one year, she says she will enjoy it while she can. At this point, she’s just excited and happy she and her teammates can use it.
“We are very thankful we have been afforded the opportunity to have the locker room and we plan on using it to help us this season as we look to make a step forward in the program,” Widrig said.
Now that the soccer season has started, the athletes have already started using the locker room. Although not decorated yet, the televisions have already been installed for watching game film, which is something they could hardly do before.
The soccer players aren’t the only ones who happy about the changes, however.
McGuffin also said security for the workers at the front desk area was definitely needed and believes it is appreciated, which Baker Fitness Center Coordinator Amy Foley proves.
“They totally redid the whole area up front by expanding it and added new desks, which was really nice,” Foley said.
While McGuffin is pleased with the renovations, he shows there is still more to come for the future.
“To me there is still some work to be done on parts of Baker,” McGuffin said. “I would like to see new flooring, a new paint job, and of course the replacement of equipment still needs to take place, but overall I think the users of Baker will see the improvements and appreciate the work that was done and that is yet to be done.”