Olivia Ostrowski, ’22, finishes the last mile of her run near Goodman Campus. After the closure of Taylor Gym, Lehigh students are finding new places to exercise in South Bethlehem. (Julia DePillis/B&W Staff)

Students get creative amid indefinite shut down of Taylor Gym


The rise of COVID-19 cases both on and off the Lehigh campus has led to an indefinite shut down of Taylor Gym. 

The temporary closure of the fitness center has forced students who work out there to explore other options throughout South Bethlehem and make the most of the current situation. 

Although it’s impossible to tell if the fitness center contributed to the spread of the virus, the university asked the Athletic Department to close Taylor Gym to prevent further spread. 

“I feel our entry protocols were sound, our during-participation policies (were) solid, and our existing procedures and post-session sanitization procedures (were) sound as well,” said Doug Strange, assistant athletic director for campus athletics.

Strange said they will take this time to re-evaluate all of their procedures to see where they can improve. 

Shannon Boyce, a junior on the women’s soccer team, relied on the fitness center for her everyday exercise but has adjusted to the recent change fairly well. 

While working out at home doesn’t have the same atmosphere as the fitness center, it can still get the job done.

“I have used YouTube, HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) or yoga videos that require no equipment so it is easy to do right in my room,” she said. “I also have been running throughout South Bethlehem.”

Boyce is making the most out of a tough situation. 

“I love going along the water trail because it’s a great change in scenery and allows me to get good mileage in,” Boyce said. 

Similar to Boyce, Lexi Perez, ‘23, utilized the fitness center often and was forced to rely on her creativity to get her workouts in recently. 

While Perez has found ways to work out, she hopes the gym will open soon.

“I’ve been finding cool scenic places to go on runs like the South Bethlehem Greenway and over the bridge that goes toward Moravian,” Perez said. “But again, it’s getting cold, and I’d rather be in a gym.”

Both Boyce and Perez have not had too much difficulty adjusting to the recent closure, but are worried about when the fitness center will open back up again. 

While running outside during this point of the year is something both students are willing to do, when the temperature starts to drop, another challenge will be presented. 

Boyce and Perez said when the Welch Fitness Center reopens they will be comfortable going back.

When it comes to reopening the fitness center, there is no exact date that has been determined. 

Strange said the reopening of Taylor Gym is contingent on permission and continued confidence in procedures laid out by the university administration. 

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1 Comment

  1. Bruce Haines ‘67 on

    Running along the D&L trail on the North side of the river at the Sand Island entrance to the historic trail is the absolute best run in the entire Lehigh Valley.

    It is not only peaceful but historic as the canal Museum is 10 Miles east along the trail.

    Lehigh students need to discover the historic Northside while they are here by simply crossing the Fahy Bridge & turning left.

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