Campus recreation set to reopen Aug. 30 with restrictions

Photo by Brendan Felch/The Towerlight

By: Sophia Bates, Associate Editor and Sarah Pulkowski, Contributing Writer 

In accordance with a completely remote first week of classes, Burdick Hall will not reopen until Aug. 30. Even then, its functionality will look drastically different from that of previous semesters.

The Campus Recreation Center posted online that they will phase-in reopening to carefully return to normalcy, starting at phase one and proceeding through several more phases. While the entire phasing system has not been released as of yet, the details of phase one have been made available.

Starting at Phase One, Burdick will hold limited hours of operation. The fitness center is now open Monday through Friday from noon to 8 p.m., while the pool will be closed the entirety of the fall semester, according to the Campus Recreation website.

Senior Thanh Le thinks the reduced hours will inconvenience students.

“I’m excited that our campus recreation center can open back up and, in my opinion, the hours didn’t have to be shortened. By having regular hours, more students can have access to the gym while having a capacity limit,”  Le said. “Considering everyone is still paying the same amount for the gym fee as previous semesters.”

The Campus Rec Portal will serve as the site for reservation while the construction of an app is underway. Fitness center reservations will last 50-minutes while rock-climbing reservations last 45-minutes. Employees will sanitize all equipment at every hour.

Grady Sheffield, Director of Campus Recreation,  said that some student employees are getting scheduled less due to the restrictions on programs the gym typically hosts.

 “Given the circumstances of not offering all of our program and services during Phase One of our reopening, some students have not been scheduled for shift work related to those specific offerings,” said Sheffield. “Our plan and hope is that we can move to Phase Two sooner than later which will allow us to provide more programs and services, thus allowing those students to gain back some of the scheduled hours lost from Phase One.”

The temporary COVID-19 mask protocol will also be enforced within the gym. Masks are required while in the facility, with the exception of recovery zones on each floor.

Senior Brady Bayles thinks the requirement will impact the fitness center’s usage.

“After hearing the new rules and regulations for Burdick Hall, I won’t be spending nearly as much time using their facilities,” Bayles said, “I can’t imagine working out at a high intensity while wearing a mask that limits your air intake. With COVID-19 the safest thing to do would be working out in nature with a limited amount of people.”

Virtual fitness classes will take place of typical group sessions in order to follow social distancing guidelines and limit the amount of people in Group Fitness studios.

Intramural sports or “pick-up” games such as basketball, volleyball and table tennis will be prohibited until later phases of reopening are implemented.


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