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Hugh Mills complex receives upgrades

2019-01-15-new-locker-rooms-in-gym
Michelle Velazquez, a sophomore majoring in marketing, checks out the new locker room in the Hugh Mills Physical Education Complex. The 19-year-old from Buford, Ga., said she likes the new design of the locker room.

After nine weeks of renovations, the Hugh Mills Physical Education Complex on the University of North Georgia's (UNG) Gainesville Campus reopened Jan. 7 with a new look and feel.

Except for the gym, pool and fitness center, the Hugh Mills complex underwent $900,000 of code upgrades, aesthetic updates and a major change in the layout.

"The renovation of the Hugh Mills Complex is an example of UNG’s commitment to provide facilities that meet the needs of the UNG students, faculty, staff and community," said Dr. Richard Oates, vice president of the Gainesville Campus.

Chief among the renovations was the newly designed and improved men's and women's locker rooms.

"I think students, faculty and staff will be happy with the changes," said Bill Moody, director of facilities and operations for UNG's Cumming, Gainesville and Oconee campuses.

While the square footage of the locker rooms remained the same, the footprint changed. A basin of sinks welcomes entrants into the locker rooms followed by a row of bathroom stalls — three on each side with one being handicap-accessible. Next is a room filled with waterproof lockers equipped with digital codes.

"A student can enter a personal code and lock it," Moody said. "Then when the student is done using it, another student can use the same locker and plug in a different code."

Following the locker space are individual shower stalls with curtains. Previously, shower heads were mounted on a post in an open area with no curtains or stalls for privacy. A handicap-accessible shower with a movable shower head is also in both locker rooms.

After the showers is another basin of sinks and a door leading directly to the pool. Before, individuals had to leave through the same door and walk down the hallway to enter the pool.

In the hallway leading to the pool is a new family-style and gender-neutral bathroom. Inside it has a few lockers and a handicap-accessible toilet and shower.

Accompanying the locker rooms' new floor and wall tiles is new up-to-code and more accessible plumbing including pipes and water-heating units, Moody said. A new heating, ventilation, air-conditioning unit was installed inside the building. The old HVAC unit and other mechanical equipment were located on the roof, making repairs difficult, especially during inclement weather.

Ross "Woody" Adams, building and landscaping manager for UNG's Cumming, Gainesville and Oconee campuses, said the interior concrete walls were also removed. Now the walls are sheetrock, allowing for a warmer feel.

"It's like the whole building went from a 1970s look to a 2020 look," he said.

Other improvements to the building include larger office spaces for faculty and staff to share along with a new multipurpose room across from the fitness center. Accessible to all and enclosed by floor-to-ceiling glass, the room is equipped with vending machines, a refrigerator and microwave.

"Once students are done working out, they can come in here and cool down with a drink. Or they can come in here and study," Moody said.

For more information about the Hugh Mills Complex, call the front desk at 678-717-3485 or the fitness department at 678-717-3414; or visit the complex's webpage.

UNG follows Section 508 Standards and WCAG 2.0 for web accessibility. If you require the content on this web page in another format, please contact the ADA Coordinator.

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