The new residential housing project is under construction and will be done by fall 2020. Within the Hitch House, a 2,000 square foot gym will become an extra fitness center on campus. (Nora Thomson/B&W Staff)

New fitness center and cafe to open fall 2020

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Taylor Gym won’t be the only fitness facility on campus for long. The new residential housing project newly renamed the Singleton, Hitch and Maida House is going to include a gym accessible to all Lehigh students.  

Located in the Hitch House, the 2,000 square foot gym will contain predominantly aerobic equipment such as treadmills, ellipticals, bikes and cable-lifting machines, said University Architect Brent Stringfellow. Since it is unstaffed, it will exclude heavy lifting equipment that could be of danger, he said.

Stringfellow said having an extra fitness center on campus will relieve pressure on Taylor Gym.

“Since there is only one fitness center on campus now, it can sometimes get crowded, so a new one can solve this problem and make students more motivated to exercise,” said Lily Spitalny, ‘22. 

Other additions in the new dorms include a cafe, a game room, a study area, a conference area and a yoga studio space.  

The new cafe will also be located in the Hitch House. Stringfellow said the specifics of the cafe are still being discussed with food services. However, he said they are thinking of a hybrid option where part of the day, there will be a staff member working the cafe, and other parts, it will be unmanned.

 “So, if students want a snack at midnight, they can go down and grab something without worrying if it is opened or closed,” Stringfellow said. 

Stringfellow said in terms of food selection, the cafe will most likely not have as many options as the cafe at E.W. Fairchild-Martindale Library, but will include options beyond vending machine snacks. 

Stringfellow said the houses will include two levels of security. During the day, the public spaces are open to everyone, while the residential areas require swipe access. During the night hours, the public spaces will also require a Lehigh swipe.

Haley Rothman, ’20, is graduating this year and will not be able to experience this new space. She said she believes the new gym will be both a necessary and positive addition to the university.  

“I think that these additions are really great,” Rothman said. “I wish they had decided to put in these new places for me when I would still get to experience them, especially when I lived near there. It would’ve been nice to not have to walk all the way down the hill.”  

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