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(SWEETWATER, Texas) – When Texas State Technical College’s spring semester began earlier this month, the excitement was felt throughout the Sweetwater campus.

Students moved into their dorm rooms or apartments prior to the first day of school on Monday, Jan. 10, and quickly had a feeling of being a college student. With the Wellness and Recreation Center now open for workouts, basketball or pool games, or a walk around the track, students are able to relax and enjoy themselves.

During the fall semester, TSTC began to lift some of the safeguards in place due to COVID-19.

“We used to take a to-go container out and eat in our rooms. But now we can sit in the cafeteria with classmates and have a conversation,” said James Chung, a Wind Energy Technology student. “It is great that we can visit with our friends outside of the labs. We also had some limitations working out in our rooms, but now we get more motivation to work out by using the gym.”

Josh Leath, also a Wind Energy Technology student, said it is good to be able to use the workout equipment.

“Being able to get out and work out really keeps people in shape,” he said.

Joni Coons, intramural programs coordinator, said she has been excited to see students return to a normal college life. She is also excited about another opportunity.

“The fitness center is open back to both students and the public,” she said. “The public is welcome to join us.”

The Wellness and Recreation Center is currently open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. For public membership fees, call Coons at 325-235-7418.

Coons said even with the center open, safety is always the top priority.

“We have purchased several new pieces of equipment in the past year and are working hard to keep things clean and safe during this COVID environment,” she said.

One of the biggest changes on the Sweetwater campus is that the Campus Store has moved into the Student Center. Tracy Calvin, a retail associate at the store, said students have adjusted to the new location.

“The students are happy we are here because this (the Student Center) is where they are when not in class,” she said.

Coons has planned several activities for students this semester, including laser tag, a pool tournament, and three-on-three basketball.

“We are really excited to see those kinds of activities going again,” she said.

To keep the activities available, Chung knows what students will have to do.

“We will have to be safe and enjoy the campus life,” he said. 

For more information on TSTC, visit tstc.edu.

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