Rec Center offers numerous features, gears for expansion

May 13, 2013

Samantha Morley
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The Rec Center is where all students can go to be physically and socially active.

The 54,000-square-foot building opened in Fall 2007 and gives students access to numerous activities.

Amenities include a bouldering wall, two-court gymnasium, lounge, aerobics and fitness room, indoor track, swimming pool and fitness center.

The fitness center consists of cardiovascular and selectorized weight machines as well as free weights and a stretching area.

The indoor track is 1/13 of a mile and has shock-absorbing rubber. The swimming pool includes four 25-yard lap lanes, vortex pool, water basketball/volleyball area and hot tub.

The pool may be rented out for parties and student functions of any size. “We’ve done any number of things,” said Matt Gaden, director of Campus Recreation. “Our only thing is we just need to make sure we can get enough lifeguards.”

The facility also features an outdoor center, which allows for rental of equipment such as bicycles, tents, sleeping bags and other outdoor items.

A bike and ski repair shop is also available. Students are free to bring in their equipment and learn how to repair minor problems.

The Rec Center may also order necessary parts for a fee. “Our mechanics help you fix it,” Gaden said. “It’s an educational opportunity.”

The campus Bike Share Program allows for students to rent a bicycle for up to 10 free rental days per semester.

The bikes may be checked out for up to three days at a time and can be taken off campus so that students can go to places such as Garden of the Gods and trails around the city.

The Rec Center will also experience an upgrade in the next couple of years. The building is expected to expand 64,000 square feet. “It’s going to be an extension of a lot of things we have already, just more space. We’re a little bit cramped,” Gaden said.

The fitness area will acquire more square footage and could allow for Olympic-style lifting and plyometric explosive jumping.

The group fitness area and gymnasium will also grow. Construction is expected to begin Spring 2014 and finish in Fall 2015.

A new parking garage, expected to open Spring 2014, will coincide with the Recreation Center’s construction. It will feature an intramural playing field on the uppermost level.

“We solved a parking problem and a field problem all in one fell swoop. It’s a forward-thinking idea. I think it’ll really be neat,” Gaden said.

Annoushka Ranaraja, a senior majoring in health sciences pre-professional, has worked at the Rec Center for almost two years.

Ranaraja was skeptical of the parking garage field at first but felt reassured when she heard about the 15-foot fence surrounding the area. “I’m excited about the expansion,” she said. “They’ve thought of everything.”

Both Gaden and Ranaraja advise that the best thing freshmen can do is to “come over and get involved.” The best times to attend the Rec Center, they said, are early to mid-morning and early to mid-afternoon. Noon and late afternoons to evenings are busiest because of school and work schedules.

The Recreation Center is also a major student employer on campus. It hires students to be intramural officials, lifeguards, group fitness instructors and front desk greeters.

Openings may be found on SEAN’s Place, a website with UCCS job postings. Students may also go to the Rec Center and personally ask what jobs are available.

While current students may use the amenities with a show of student ID, they are welcome to bring along non-UCCS friends and family as well. Non-UCCS attendees pay $5 if with a current student.

For new and current students, Gaden suggested everyone “jump in and do it.”