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ASU students flock to new downtown fitness center

PHOENIX - Students at Arizona State University's downtown campus have a new place to workout.

The $25-million Sun Devil Fitness Complex opened last week and is right next door to a downtown Phoenix landmark.

"The YMCA are our neighbors, and then we have the Sun Devil Fitness complex, which is adjacent to the Lincoln Family Downtown YMCA which is right next door," said ASU Assistant Dean of Students Tanya Mendes.

Mendes said the fitness center has some awesome facilities. "We have a rooftop pool, an indoor running track, and a basketball court," Mendes said. "And of course, we offer our group fitness classes, and we have all of the stuff you need for strengthening and conditioning."

She said students are pretty excited about the place.

"The day of opening, they were waiting at 5 a.m. waiting to get right in. It's been pretty busy as you can tell," said Mendes. Dozens of students were using fitness equipment just a few feet away from where we were speaking with Mendes.

Outdoors, on top of the five story building, we found Freshman Elouise Bacon lounging by the pool.

"I think it's awesome," Bacon said. "I mean, you can see everything from here. I love it. I love the rooftop pool."

Students pay a $75 dollar yearly fee for access to the fitness center, which is also open to members of the YMCA next door.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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