Eight broken treadmills at Alumni Gym back in commission

Supply chain issues delayed the equipments' repair and contributed to overcrowding at the gym.

by Audrey O'Brien | 4/7/22 5:00am

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by Hannah Li / The Dartmouth

Eight treadmills at Alumni Gymnasium which broke down due to heavy use throughout the winter term have been repaired. The broken treadmills exacerbated frustration for students, who were already experiencing issues of overcrowding in the winter. 

According to deputy athletics director Richard Whitmore, the treadmills — which are typically some of the gym’s most popular pieces of equipment — were fixed after overcoming supply chain and warranty complications over several days in the first weeks of the spring term.

Anne Guidera ’25 said she frequently uses the treadmills and was disappointed in the winter when she went to the gym to run but couldn’t find any available.

“I would just have to wait until one opened, or sometimes I would just skip going on the treadmill altogether because none were available while I was there,” Guidera said. “It just wasn’t worth it.”

Guidera added that she had a “scary” experience with a treadmill that was “almost broken,” but there was no indication of its state.

“I was on it and literally thought I was about to fall off, it was so janky,” Guidera said. “The next day of course there was an out of order sign.”

Schuyler Cyrus, a part-time worker at the front desk of Alumni Gym, said he noticed that the influx of students lessened as more equipment broke, as the lack of treadmills deterred students from going to the gym at all. He also said that the treadmills that broke were relatively new and depreciated quickly due to the surge of crowds in the winter.

Whitmore said that the gym purchased a new fleet of ten treadmills in December of last year, but during the winter more students began working out indoors and the treadmills were subject to heavier use. He added that in early January, problems with the treadmills began to arise, and eight out of those ten treadmills broke down.

“They were breaking down more regularly than we were expecting any of the new treadmills to break down,” he said. “It’s obviously not the best time to have any equipment down because that’s our heaviest use period —January, February and into March. That’s when everybody who wants to exercise regularly is doing it inside.” 

The treadmills remained out of use throughout the rest of the winter term, according to Whitmore. However, as of this week, both Cyrus and Whitmore said that all the treadmills are back up and running. 

According to Guidera, although this came as positive news for current gym-goers, the repairing equipment arrived much later than when she had anticipated. Whitmore said that the delays were a result of supply chain and technical issues, as the treadmills required specific replacement parts under warranty contracts as well as work from a technician. 

“[Treadmills] are very popular, and so we really want to make sure that all of our equipment is operating at its peak performance levels,” Whitmore said.

The repairing of the treadmills came as a relief for students like Guidera, who said she is excited to return to her typical treadmill usage.

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