Television Screens To Arrive At MAC

Unnamed photo
Adam D. Sidman

The Malkin Athletic Center, a longtime haven for physical enhancement, will upgrade its exercise equipment by the end of spring break.

River House residents, say goodbye to Hemenway.

Faculty of Arts and Sciences officials announced yesterday new upgrades for the Malkin Althetic Center (MAC), perhaps making the trek to the Law School’s popular Hemenway Gymnasium a thing of the past.

The MAC, located at 39 Holyoke St., got a face lift this past October updating its century-old infrastructure. By the end of spring break, officials said, new treadmills, elliptical machines, and stationary bicycles will be added, each featuring its own satellite television screen—the reason many undergraduates make the trip to the Law School gym.

“In response to feedback from our community, we are further upgrading the MAC, a facility central to the physical well-being and emotional health of our students, faculty, and staff,” Dean of the Faculty Michael D. Smith said in a statement.

The improvements come one month after Athletic Director Robert L. Scalise assumed a high-ranking position inside of University Hall, as interim executive dean of the Faculty, and amid ongoing debate about the quality and healthfulness of food served by Harvard University Dining Services.

“We do not want to be undermining students’ health. We do not want to be undermining community morale,” University President Drew G. Faust told a gathering of junior parents this past weekend.

Faust said in an interview yesterday that the funding for the new equipment came from a donation given by Elizabeth S. Cashin ’75 and Richard M. Cashin, Jr. ’75, long-time supporters of the University.

But will Faust, who said yesterday that she enjoys watching the NBC series “Law and Order” while she uses the treadmill, be joining students in the improved MAC?

“I should be,” she said.

Undergraduates welcomed the news of improved exercise equipment yesterday.

“The new TVs will be a great addition to the MAC, especially because I will be able to combine exercise and watching TV without having to wait at Hemenway,” Alexandra M. Wilcox ’11 said.

Built in 1903 and once known as the Indoor Athletic Building, the MAC’s 35,000 square feet serve as the primary exercise and recreation area for the University’s non-athlete undergraduates as well as the home for Harvard’s fencing, volleyball, and wrestling teams.

—Staff writer Samuel P. Jacobs can be reached at jacobs@fas.harvard.edu.

—Staff writers Clifford M. Marks and Nathan C. Strauss contributed to the reporting of this story.