Phase II starts

By Bridget Maiellaro

Starting Sunday, the main sections of the IntraMural Physical Education Building, commonly known as IMPE, will be closing its doors for approximately two years.

By next week, Campus Recreation will initiate Phase II of its $77 million renovation project.

The east wing of the IMPE building, renovated in January 2005, will remain open throughout Phase II of the project. However, the east wing will not be able to host the same amount of students that IMPE generally does.

“I think students have made their choices already,” said Jayne DeLuce, associate director of Campus Recreation. “People will most likely continue to play basketball in the east wing, and there will be an increase at CRCE. Those who wish to swim laps in pools will go to Freer or Kenney.”

As a result, students who frequently work out at IMPE must go to other fitness locations. The newly renovated Campus Recreation Center East, better known as CRCE, is one option.

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“I work out about 3 times a week,” said Joe Fallon, sophomore in LAS. “I used to go to IMPE, but I’ve been going to CRCE more recently. The atmosphere is nicer, since it’s all new.”

Some students, including employees of the recreation centers, feel that IMPE’s closing will have a negative outcome.

“The inconvenience will primarily come from the people who have been going to IMPE for like ten years,” said Jonathan Speagle, sophomore in LAS and lifeguard at CRCE.

Others, however, feel that Phase II will not have a great of effect.

“It seems that the school has been keeping students up-to-date,” Fallon said. “Most people already know about the changes, so they won’t need to adjust that much.”

Many students, however, are unaware Campus Recreation has taken initiative in ensuring that students will not be disappointed by the locations becoming too crowded.

They have expanded hours at both Kenney Gym, 1402 W. Springfield Ave., and Freer Hall, 906 S. Goodwin Ave., where students can swim, lift weights, and play basketball, volleyball or badminton.

“Pretty much every aspect of Campus Rec. will have an increase in hours,” Speagle said. “Because of these transfer customers, there has to be more options for them to get their workout in, no matter where.”

Campus Recreation also has an agreement with the Urbana Park District, allowing members to buy a swim pass for the Urbana Indoor Aquatic Center, 102 E. Michigan Ave., at half cost beginning Jan. 30.

DeLuce also feels that students will choose the location that is nearest to their dorm, house or apartment building.

“Decisions will depend on both proximity and convenience for each individual,” she said.

Some students, like Fallon, will change their current workout location to better fit tight schedules.

“I’ll probably start going to Kenney Gym more now that the hours are extended,” Fallon said. “It’s a lot closer to the north side of the school, where I live.”

Students who plan to workout at the east wing of IMPE may enter through the Peabody entrance, across from Scott Hall, starting Jan. 30 at 6:30 a.m.

While the last day of operations will be this weekend, construction will not begin until early March.

“We have to move furniture, move equipment, and do certain things to the pool area before construction,” DeLuce said.

Phase II will take roughly 24 to 27 months to complete, according to an announcement on the University’s Web site.

“We’re approximating that it will be complete in June 2008,” DeLuce said.