The graduate assistant area in the HSS Department.
The graduate assistant area in the HSS Department.

The department of Health and Sport Sciences, a part of the College of Education and Human Development, has moved to the Swain Student Activities Center after spending nearly 40 years in the Crawford Gym.

This is the first time the department has been housed under the same roof. Most recently, it has been dispersed throughout three separate buildings around campus. The move was necessary because the Crawford Gym is being demolished to make way for a new academic building.

HSS has 39 employees and all of them made the move to the SAC during the first week of classes. The SAC location was picked because HSS frequently collaborates with athletics, which is also housed in the SAC.

While in Crawford, the department’s co-chairs — Margaret Pentecost, assistant dean for student for student services, and Meg Hancock, assistant professor — worked to build a strong work-family community. Some of the department’s employees said they will miss the rich history of the gym and having former athletes visit them.

Even so, they are excited about being in the SAC, the extra space for growth and having the team in one place. The new space allows for more hands-on activities for their growing department, which serves more than 1,000 students. HSS’ projects include working with NASA, studying juvenile diabetes and fitness evaluation programs.

The newly renovated space for HSS includes pediatric treadmills, a fitness wave hydrostatic body fat measurement tank and a sport marketing lab that includes phones and computers for ticket sales and video conferencing.

 “This will be a great environment” Pentecost said.

“It will be an adventure but everyone is very excited and has been on board (with the move),” Hancock added.

The co-chairs also expressed their gratitude to those who planned, executed and helped make the move to the SAC.