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What’s new at TU? There is a LOT going on this summer. Below are just a few of the exciting changes being made in time for Fall 2023.
+Pinetree Dormitory Remodeling
Maurice Blakely, director of facilities management at Thomas University, said the walls inside the residence hall, including in the common area, dining area, laundry room, gaming area and hallways, will be painted in an agreeable gray color, and the trims will be painted in an off-white color. The colors of the walls were previously white and green.
The parking lot has been resurfaced and expanded from 30 parking spaces to 45. The parking spaces will be at the front and behind the residence hall.
The dining area was expanded to include another 1,735 square feet. The expanded dining includes the area as you enter the residence hall from the front of the building. A common area is now located in back of the dining area and includes a gaming area with a pool table, TVs, and couches.
Two years ago, 15 showers were installed in the students’ dorm rooms. This summer, the remaining 18 are being replaced with new showers.
The laundry rooms will include two additional washers and dryers. In total, it will have six washers and six dryers.
+Football Practice Field
+Strength and Conditioning Room
The strength and conditioning room has more than 400 pieces of equipment for all TU student-athletes who participate in a variety of sports, including baseball, basketball, swimming, track and field, flag football, football, soccer, and softball, among others.
“Our goal as a strength and conditioning staff is to get our athletes bigger, faster, and stronger while at the same time working on maintaining (or gaining) mobility/flexibility in the process, with the end goal of creating a more “complete & versatile” student-athlete based on the needs of each individual sport,” Corey Potter, director of strength and conditioning, said.
Athletes can do different exercises in the strength and conditioning room such as back squats, front squats, split squats, rear foot elevated split squats, deadlifts, hang cleans, power cleans, push presses, bench presses, incline bench presses, military presses, pull-ups, dumbbell bench presses, dumbbell incline bench presses, dumbbell rows, dumbbell rows, dumbbell military presses, and other things.
Types of equipment:
- 15 Olympic Racks & Platforms (each rack includes (1) adjustable bench, multiple pull-up bar attachments, landmine attachment, and multiple resistance bands)
- 2 Dumbbell Sections (each dumbbell section has 4 adjustable benches, 2 sets of 5 lbs.-50 lbs. dumbbells and 1 set of 55 lbs.–100 lbs. dumbbells)
- 06 (45 lbs. plates), 18 (35 lbs. plates), 70 (25 lbs. plates), 70 (10 lbs. plates), 40 (5 lbs. plates), & 30 (2.5 lbs. plates)
- 4 Glute Ham/Back Extension Machines
- 20+ Medicine Balls (6 lbs.-20 lbs.)
- 5 Battle Ropes
- 4 Trap Bars
- 1 set of Plyometric Boxes
For Injured Athletes/Athletes going through Rehabilitation
- 2 Leg Press Machines
- 1 Leg Extension Machine
- 1 Leg Curl Machine
- 1 Iso-Lateral Chest and Back Machine
- 1 Hip & Glute Machine
- 1 Lat Pulldown Machine
- 5 Treadmills
- 5 Ellipticals
- 4 Stationary Bikes
+NEW! Learning Commons and Student Activity Room
TU has totally remodel the old library to provide a better place for students to do group work, receiving tutoring assistance and a place to just hang out with friends. Library materials are still available for research and class projects. Movies, virtual reality head sets, tons of games available!
“We wanted to make the Library space into a new Learning Commons, which will provide an environment for our students with the most comfortable atmosphere to assist with their studies,” Tiffeny McCardel, Learning Commons Technical Assistant, said.
The Learning Commons has 19 individual study carrels, 24 tables for collaborative work, and two private study rooms that have a smart TV, table, and chairs. There is also a comfortable seating area that has a couch and four comfy chairs, and four new oversized bean bag chairs.
There are two computer labs with 23 computers and two large printers.
Students can not only study, but they can play games. The Learning Commons has two MetaQuest VR headsets.
“We are really excited about these and they have become a hit among students, faculty, and staff,” McCardel said. “Patrons can play games such as Beat Saber, Space Pirates, and virtual golf or meditate using a guided meditation app. We also have an app to help with studying called Librarium, students can add flashcards and play games involving finding the hidden cards and then shooting the correct answer when they pop up.”
“MLK: Now is the Time” and “Anne Frank House” were recently added to the VR experience. Both of which bring history to life in a new and immersive environment.
Another new amenity that is available is a small coffee station that is sponsored by CAB. Students can grab a cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate.
There are some books available in the Learning Commons, but the vast majority are in a storage area. Students can request books by visiting TU’s online catalog by clicking this link. The books will then be placed on hold. Staff will retrieve the books and notify the student when it is available for pickup. Students can also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to get any updates.
+Football Equipment Room
The equipment room is where football helmets, shoulder pads, cleats, mouth pieces, girdles and more are stored. Field equipment such as footballs, tackle bags, and other practice gears are housed in that room as well. There are washers and dyers in the equipment room.
+NEW! Exercise Science Major Gets Lab
+Men’s Football Locker Room
The locker room was completed in May. It has 115 lockers where athletes can store their personal belongings. There are also 11 showers and 6 bathrooms. Players can listen to music while they are in the locker room.
+FIRST TU Men’s Football Camp
+Women’s Flag Football Locker Room
+Success Advisors Move Offices to Magnolia Campus
+New and Improved Conference Rooms on Magnolia Campus
The small conference room has a seating capacity of about eight people. It can be used to host smaller meetings. It has a 75” Newline touchscreen panel with a built-in computer along with a Poly video conferencing device with AI tracking. The AI tracking allows the camera to track whoever the speaker is in the room as they move throughout the room.
“Anyone at TU that may need a space can use them,” Kurt Stringfellow, Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Athletic Director, said.
+TU Rolls Out New Meal Plan
The meal plan is included in the housing package for Pinetree student residences. Other students can purchase the meal plan.
In addition to the new meal plan, students are required to swipe their new student ID cards to get meals at the Pinetree Residence Hall.
Previously, students were offered 10 meals per week — breakfast and dinner from Monday – Friday.
+TU Partners with Vet Center
Ferguson said TU began its military and veterans’ program in 2017 when there were a small number of military-affiliated students enrolled. Now the program has ballooned to nearly 300 military-affiliated students. TU will also hold the inaugural season of its military transition football team with the first game on September. 2.
“We have grown our veterans and military programming to where there is a real need for Veteran’s Administration personnel to be on our campus to assist with mental health counseling, education benefits, disability benefits, referral to other resources or other veteran services organizations,” he said.
TU has had a longstanding relationship with the Tallahassee Vet Center. Since 2017, TU and the Tallahassee Vet Center have been working on different initiatives including referring TU vets or other area vets that have engaged with TU for assistance with services specific to homelessness, mental health issues, and childcare services. The Vet Center has also done numerous presentations at TU.
The Tallahassee Vet Center was using a facility in Thomasville to provide group counseling, group therapy, and one-on-one meetings with veterans and their families in the area. However, Ferguson said it was not conducive to the schedule of some veterans, so TU offered the Tallahassee Vet Center the opportunity to use the campus.
“This opportunity is great,” Ferguson said. “It does not only raise the profile of TU’s veterans programming, but allows TU to become a centralized hub for veterans in the surrounding areas. The VET Center provides a variety of services, including counseling and referrals to VA services and other resources.