By: Jonah Lewis, Staff Writer
Due to budget cuts, Burdick Hall will continue to be closed on Saturdays for the remainder of the spring semester, Campus Recreation officials said.
The reduced hours, which began during the fall 2022 semester, are a result of budget cuts to the Department of Campus Recreation for Fiscal Year 2023, Grady Sheffield, director of Campus Recreation, said.
“To minimally impact our operations and programming for the campus community, facility hours and other expenses were reduced/cut to meet the reduction in allocated operating funds,” Sheffield said in an email.
The SGA announced the decision in a now-deleted Instagram post from Feb. 16th. The post stated that closing on Saturdays would save approximately $100,000 per semester and prevent layoffs.
Sheffield, however, said he was “not sure where [The Towerlight is] getting the $100k number from.” The post was sent to Sheffield, but he gave no additional comment.
The 235,000 square foot facility includes a rock climbing wall, pool and various other studios. The Gym is now open from Sunday to Friday.
Senior Bryan Lloyd, who works at the rock climbing area in Burdick, said he wasn’t affected by the reduced hours.
“Rock climbing is not open on Saturdays, so I’m not affected by the closings personally,” Lloyd said. “The reason they’re closing the gym on Saturdays is that that is the least busy day statistically for the gym.”
Lloyd said the budget cuts have thus far not affected the number of staff or equipment at Burdick.
“Our operation has continued to hire the same number of people,” Lloyd said. “Climbing has not been downsized over the three years I’ve been here.”
The Saturday closures have prompted mixed reactions from students. Some have voiced their disappointment, while others understand the decision.
“I’ve been going to the gym for three years now, and when you think about it, most people’s off day is on Sunday,” Freshman Michael Caulkins said. “At the end of the day, the kids that are here have nothing to do on Saturdays. With the gym being closed, you can’t go play basketball, you can’t hang out with your friends or anything. If anything, close the gym on Sunday.”
Echoing Lloyd, Senior Maximo Lombardi said the decision didn’t impact him.
“It doesn’t affect me too much personally, and I haven’t looked into it too much,” he said.
Editors note: this story has been updated to clarify that while the original SGA post said the reduced hours prevented layoffs, the claim was not confirmed by Campus Rec.