CRCE opening delayed

Ed Thomson

Ed Thomson

By Tanika Ely

Some University students may have noticed that the Campus Recreation Center-East (CRCE), also known as WIMPE, has not opened as scheduled. The facility, which was supposed to be open at the beginning of the semester, is now scheduled to open in early March, said Gary Miller, an associate director of campus recreation.

Miller said the opening is about five weeks behind schedule because of a delay with the installation of terrazzo, a type of stone flooring.

Although the renovation is not yet complete, Miller said they are moving in exercise equipment for the second floor.

The renovation has added additional space, nearly tripling the size of the original building, Miller said. A few of those additions include three basketball courts, a 5,000-square-foot multipurpose room, 10,000-square-foot strength and conditioning space, a track, pool, juice bar and a multi-activity court for students to play soccer or hockey.

Karimah Salaam, senior in ACES, lives in Urbana and said it would be more convenient for her to go to CRCE than IMPE.

“I hope it opens soon,” Salaam said. “It’s harder to reserve the equipment at IMPE.”

Chloe Caudillo, senior in LAS, said she agreed.

“The east wing is really nice, but the machines are always full,” she said. “It doesn’t really accommodate all of the people who want to work out.”

Caudillo also said the renovation delay comes as a surprise.

“I tried to go there the other day and it was closed,” she said.

Once open, the new facility will be able to hold additional people and will also provide more space for IMPE users while it is being renovated, according to the campus recreation web site.

“Renovations of CRCE began in September of 2003 and has spanned about 16 months,” Miller said.

Salaam said she believes the additions are good news and it will also allow her to begin working on her new year’s resolution.

Miller also said renovations to IMPE’s east gym have been completed and the facility opened to the public on Jan. 19. Additions to the east gym include four basketball courts and 10,000-square-foot strength and conditioning space.

More space has been added to hold up to 60 pieces of cardio equipment. This gym will be open while the rest of IMPE is under construction, according to the campus recreation web site.

“I hope the renovations provide more opportunities for students to pursue healthy lifestyles,” Miller said.