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Sparks Fitness Center to open in September, COVID-19 concerns being worked out

Updated: Aug 22, 2020

Noah Dantes


On August 17, Willamette announced that they had hired Tony Stafford as the new director of campus recreation. Stafford said over email that he had begun work on August 3.

In the same email, Stafford said that Willamette plans to reopen Sparks Fitness Center in early September because they are “still working through COVID-19 concerns… we will have more information [to share] soon.”

The previous campus recreation director, Kosti Efstathiou, resigned on October 28 last year after inexplicably disappearing from campus for nearly three weeks. Tom Kirch, a previous campus recreation director at Oregon State University, came out of retirement to help fill the vacant position. Kirch worked part-time from December through spring semester supported by administrators Lisa Holliday and Zach Cardoso while Willamette’s hiring committee searched for a permanent and full-time replacement. The search concluded with the hiring of Stafford.

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