BU Invests $1.25 Million to Lead Community Fitness Programs

Boston University president Robert A. Brown and Mayor Menino dedicated the new BU Fitness and Wellness Center in the South End on Tuesday morning.

Boston University has completely transformed a 2,000-square foot space in the South End's Blackstone Community Center into a state-of-the-art fitness facility with treadmills, bikes, free weights and squat racks.

The new Boston University Fitness and Wellness Center is part of a new public health initative with Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) and the Boston Centers for Youth & Family (BCYF) to fund three projects over the next five years at a value of more than $1.25 million.  

Mayor Thomas Menino, BU President Robert A. Brown, and Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission Barbara Ferrer were all in the South End on Tuesday morning to dedicate the new fitness center. 

The idea behind the facility is to provide South End community students and families a place to get active and work out. Boston Public Health Commission executive director Barbara Ferrer noted at the dedication that more than 35 percent of Boston youths are already classified as obese. The new facility will be staffed with BU employees and students in BU's Department of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, and will not only offer exercise programs, but wellness and nutrition as well. 

"Today we celebrate a new fitness and recreation center," said Menino. "I am hopeful that this unique program will be a shining example for other organizations to partner with us to promote health and wellness for children and families throughout our city."

Besides the new fitness center, the other two are 100 summer camp scholarships for area youth and the donation of two hours of free ice time each week to the Allston-Brighton Youth Hockey league.

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