Emory Report
July 7, 2008
Volume 60, Number 34



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July 7, 2008
WoodPEC to change fees, offer payroll deductions

By Kim Urquhart

The Woodruff Physical Education Center is implementing a new membership program for faculty and staff. Beginning Aug. 1, payroll deduction will be available as a new payment option to University employees. Also at this time, the yearly membership fee will increase to $180.

Employees have until July 31 to join or renew at the current rate of $120 — no matter when their yearly membership expires. “We’re trying to be as customer service-oriented as possible,” says Assistant Director of Athletics Meg Ahrens.

The fee increase is driven by the increased costs to maintain the facility, which includes an Olympic-sized pool, tennis courts, tracks, fitness equipment, basketball and volleyball courts, and a variety of intramural and recreational programming, explains Tim Downes, Clyde Partin Sr. Director of Athletics and Recreation.

“Unfortunately WoodPEC is not immune to an increase in operating costs. While we understand that this rate increase is a change to the price of a yearly membership, our rates still fall well below those of comparable fitness facilities,” Downes says. Importantly, he says, “we will be able to maintain this fee for at least four years.”

Payroll deduction will not be mandatory, Ahrens says, but simply adds an affordable and convenient option for members. For now payroll deduction is available to University employees only, but is likely to be extended to Emory Healthcare in the future.

To sign up for this option, visit the membership office to authorize the monthly payroll deduction of $15. Fees will continue to be deducted until the member proactively cancels their membership. Members preferring to pay a lump sum can continue to do so, at the membership office via cash or check, or with a credit card at www.wpec.emory.edu.

Despite the fee increase, WoodPEC is still the best bet in town, says Ahrens. “In terms of cost, we are the cheapest of the three fitness center options available to Emory employees and compared to other fitness options nearby,” she says. “Our facility is the largest, we have the most space available. Our Fitness Emory classes, while they are an additional cost, are a great benefit, and our location, for the majority of people who work and teach classes here, is convenient.”