Pioneer Athletic Center received renovations

University of Wisconsin-Platteville spends estimated $15.3 million on addition.


Jacob Thomas Photo New renovated upstairs walking track and the new multipurpose courts.

Nearly a year and a half ago, during the 2017 Homecoming festivities, the groundbreaking ceremony for the Pioneer Activity Center expansion began. It has finally been completed, and students have flocked to the fitness center to see the many changes and additions.

Among the additions are three new basketball courts, a large weight-lifting area, a new training room for Pioneer athletes, an indoor walking track and a large outdoor turf field on the corner of Jay Street and Southwest Road. The expansion also included the purchase of several new weight training machines and more space for indoor cardiovascular training and exercise.  

Many students have filtered in and out of the PAC since the expansion was finished, voicing praises and concerns about the facility along the way.  

“The turf field is great; it gives outdoor club sports the opportunity to practice in the spring without ruining the grass fields. The weight room has a lot more space, which is awesome. The dumbbells in the weight room are a little inconvenient, though. There are certain situations where you’d use the lighter weights and heavier weights in the same lift, warming up with lighter weights then moving on to the heavier ones. It’s an inconvenience, but for the most part the facility has vastly improved,” senior health and human performance major Joe Biagi said.  

Concerns about the new facilities don’t stop with the placement of weights, however.  Others have made observations about the new equipment ordered and placed in the more spacious facility.

“There are five neck machines but only one leg press, which seems pretty backwards. I’ve never seen those machines at capacity. People just don’t use them that often.  But, we still only have one leg press, which seems to always have someone using it,” senior civil engineering major Hunter Halverson said.

Along with equipment concerns, students have voiced their hesitations about the usage of the new facilities.  

“It seems like the layout in the fitness center could have been optimized better. There’s room to maneuver, which is great, but things could have been arranged in a more useful way. Also, I’m not a runner, but I’m sure a lot of runners would like to be able to use the new track. I don’t understand the reasoning behind making it a walking track only,” senior electrical engineering major Gavin Loescher said.  

The track is one problem; the usage of the new gym is another one completely.  

“I like that there’s an area designated for an open gym, but I don’t like the fact that club sports weren’t given a say in the usage. There’s that much more gym space, which means there should be that much more gym time for everyone,” Halverson said.

There is plenty of gym space that has opened up since the expansion, but student organizations vying for indoor practice time are still struggling to find a decent balance. Some organizations haven’t even been given access to the facility for indoor sessions. For the most part, though, students are happy with the new facilities and equipment.  There are some questions being raised, but the increased