After NYU’s Jerome S. Coles gym closed in 2016 for the construction of a new facility at 181 Mercer St., 404 Fitness on Lafayette Street has become very popular among students and the varsity teams that previously trained at Coles. However, 404 has faced a few issues since opening.
In the past few months, the gym has experienced some structural problems, leading to several inspections by the New York Fire Department and to the gym closing for the Feb. 4-5 weekend. Although it is rumored that 404’s ceiling is unable to hold the weight of the upper-floor strength equipment, Senior Associate Director of Athletics Frank Sicignano said this was untrue.
“There are no concerns with the structural stability of the building,” Sicignano said. “We take the responsibility of maintaining our facilities seriously.”
Sicignano did agree, however, that there have been some issues at the 404 facility.
“As with any new construction, there are unforeseen issues that may arise,” Sicignano said. “NYU has occupied the building for exactly one year, and in that time there have been a few minor issues, such as some plaster falling off or a loose air duct. However, those issues have all been resolved.”
Despite these problems, senior and varsity soccer captain Petter Aasa has enjoyed the opening of 404.
“I was a frequent goer to Cole’s when that gym still existed, and I think that 404 is a big improvement,” Aasa said. “Not only is it more spacious, but it also has more equipment and accessories necessary for a great workout.”
404’s impact extends beyond the individual student — it has been an important contribution to the NYU community. Frequent users of the Palladium Athletic Facility on 14th Street have noticed less people in the gym with the opening of 404, decreasing traffic during the facility’s busiest hours.
Students now have a choice between Palladium and 404 for where they want to work out. For students like Aasa, it is a matter of personal preference.
“I don’t go to 404 as much anymore,” Aasa said. “I prefer going to Palladium, because I live just a block away. I wish 404 had more open squat racks and more bench presses as the demand for those greatly exceeds the available supply.”
The same reasoning motivates LS freshman Tilly Holmes to go to 404.
“I like 404, because it’s so close to Washington Square and easy for me to go to after class,” Holmes said. “I live in Lipton so it’s an easy walk, and it’s also a really nice gym so I enjoy going there.”
It’s no doubt that the opening of 404 has been a boon to the NYU community, as students all benefit from the university promoting exercise and healthy living.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Feb. 21 print edition.
Email Lorenzo Gazzola at [email protected]