Falk Gets a Facelift
Since 1987, the Falk Recreation Center has provided members of the Einstein community with a comfortable space to get fit, blow off steam, and relieve stress.
For 31 years, students, faculty, and staff have used the modest facilities, with wear and tear taking its toll. “When I arrived, it was clear that the Falk Center was in need of a facelift,” observed Andrew Adham, who was hired as the manager last year.
A New and Improved Facility
Beginning in June 2018, the center’s equipment areas each underwent updates. The outdoor basketball court was first, with new hoops installed, lines repainted, and broken concrete replaced.
In August 2018, the facility’s free weights were upgraded to include new sets of dumbbells and kettlebells, barbells, half- and full-squat racks with Olympic platforms, and bumper plates, among other pieces of critical weight-training equipment.
By December, the treadmills, stationary bikes, ellipticals, and rowers were replaced with state-of-the-art Matrix machines, currently top of the line in the fitness field. This new cardio equipment provides gym members with internet access for using exercise apps, the ability to set fitness routines, and to “train” on virtual running paths.
Most recently, this past June, the center installed a new set of weight machines by Matrix to complete the latest improvements.
“I love all of the upgrades that have been made to the exercise equipment,” said Mitchell Gronowitz, a medical student and two-year member at Falk. “The highlight for me is the equipment that Jake [Kuhl] purchased that allowed us to start a weekly, indoor pick-up hockey game.”
The improvements weren’t limited to the facility’s amenities and exercise equipment. The gym’s fitness schedule has expanded to offer more classes—19 options are now available, up from just 5 a year ago. The invigorating roster of offerings now includes barre, Pilates, and high-intensity interval training (or HIIT), plus members can now reserve machines, space in a class, or areas of the center to use through an online reservation system. Implemented in February, the system replaced the old pen-and-paper method previously in place.
“Being able to swipe your ID card at the front desk and reserve equipment on your phone has really streamlined how the center operates,” said Dr. Brian Delaney, associate professor of family and social medicine and a Falk veteran since 1989.
A Sense of Community
Andrew credits tremendous support from the Einstein community as a major driving force behind the facility’s renovations. “Our students, faculty, and staff see the value in Falk and what it can offer them. They’re the ones who prompted the changes.”
“There’s been a lot of progress,” observed Jay Canarick, a third-year medical student and Falk Center regular. “Falk looks and feels like a new facility. The old machines often needed maintenance, so you were never sure what would be available to use. But now, all of the machines work, there are more of them, and they are spread out nicely throughout the center.”
“Falk feels like a community gym now,” added Brian. “I’ve even given career advice to students while riding the stationary bike. It’s a nice, small place where people know each other. Andrew, Chris, and other Falk staff have created an inviting, stimulating atmosphere.”
Andrew credits the Falk team’s individual contributions to the success of the center’s transformation. That includes assistant managers Christopher La Colla and Jake Kuhl, administrative assistants Laura Bartolotti and Parish DeBerry, and a crew of part-time staffers.
While each staff member plays a different role in the facility’s daily operations, they all share a common goal: to improve the quality of life and mental health of all Falk members.
Even with the current changes, Andrew admits there’s still work to be done. Among renovations planned for the future are new floors, ceilings, lighting, and an audio system to improve the aesthetic and functionality of the facility.
“The most important aspect of these improvements for me is that our members are better able to achieve peace of mind and relieve stress while getting a good workout, and that they have the opportunity to build camaraderie with one another each time they come in,” said Andrew.
The Falk team also is focused on providing a more individualized experience for their 1,250 registered members. “People are more health-conscious nowadays,” said Andrew. “So it’s up to us to provide our members with a wide variety of equipment, classes, and activities to keep them active and to help them meet their specific fitness needs.”
Posted on: Thursday, August 01, 2019