Dominican College VP for Student Development John Burke gives a tour of the training room at the college’s newly renovated Hennessy Center in Blauvelt Aug. 10, 2017.
Carucha L. Meuse /

ORANGEBURG – Starting this fall, students and faculty at Dominican College will have fewer reasons to skip the gym now that a $5 million expansion of the school’s athletic center has been completed.

After about a year’s worth of construction, the Hennessy Center has been transformed into a two-story facility featuring a state-of-the-art fitness center, weight room, batting cages and two regulation-size NCAA basketball courts.

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On Thursday morning Dominican’s Vice President of Development John Burke, who spent the last eight years overseeing the expansion, gestured down a long hallway that now links the old building with the addition.

“If you walked through here three months ago, you’d be stepping over ladies doing their ab work getting ready for the summertime,” said Burke.

The corridor — located just outside of a space previously used as a weight room — was often lined with athletes, as well as students, who couldn’t squeeze into the 1,500-square-foot room, he said.

“Athletics dominated the fitness room because it was so small. Our men’s lacrosse team has 40 guys on it and we’re two-thirds female on campus, so if you’re a female student and you walk in and see 40 guys working out, you turn around and walk out,” Burke said.

Now, those looking to work out just need to walk down the corridor and down a set of…