New ARC, New You: CRCE, ARC upgrade facilities to accommodate increase in visitors

Guests+wait+for+service+at+the+service+desk+at+the+ARC+on+Sunday%2C+Feb+19+2017.

Ryan Fang

Guests wait for service at the service desk at the ARC on Sunday, Feb 19 2017.

By Kevin Delgado , Staff Writer

There are many machines and equipment at the Activities and Recreation Center and Campus Recreation Center East, but that doesn’t mean there will be any available.

Overall, there’s a decrease in visitors as the semester goes on, but a much more significant decrease in the fall.

“After the spring semester begins, we (the Campus Recreation staff) know we’re not going to get much time off,” said Campus Recreation Director Robyn Deterding. “We work hard and long the first four to six weeks of the semester.”

ARC and CRCE had an average of 7,000 visitors per day in the beginning of the fall and spring semesters, according to campus recreation visitor logs. In the fall, there was around a 25 percent decrease in visitors after four weeks, but only about a three percent decrease after four weeks in the spring.

However, the increase in visitors doesn’t mean more money for the department, and getting more equipment is easier said than done.

“We do not receive an increase in budget due to an increase in business,” Deterding said. “Eighty percent of our budget comes from student fees that are paid at the beginning of the semester. The remaining 20 percent of our budget is generated by non-student memberships, facility rentals and specialty program fees.”

Alexus Williams, a nursing student, used the gym frequently, but stopped going due to the number of people using the facilities. She said there is an ample number of machines, but people are always using them.

“The free space for individual workouts and the cardio machines are constantly occupied,” Williams said. “Also, the basketball courts are always full. There are people constantly waiting for a turn to play, and sometimes can’t get on the court at all.”

The budget is used for utilities, equipment, salaries and financial support for the campus as a whole, such as student scholarships and assistantships. More recently, the dumbbells, weight bars and the cycling studio cycles have been replaced, and there are plans for more improvements.

This year, the budget is set to cover more fitness equipment at both the ARC and CRCE, new flooring in some areas of both facilities and fencing around the complex and turf fields, as well as new drop-in equipment such as basketballs and soccer balls.

To accommodate the increase in Campus Recreation visitors, management increased the on-site staff at the beginning of the spring semester and will continue to do so until close to spring break. Staff was increased to assist with intramural sports, fitness classes, the member services center and checking member IDs.

“There is a lack of space in both the ARC and CRCE,” Nik Erickson, senior in FAA, said in a Facebook message. “I am a powerlifter, and I feel lucky if I have to wait less than five minutes for a rack, bench or platform. I haven’t stopped going to the ARC because of overcrowding, but I do know of several people who go to Silverback Barbell Gym in Champaign.”

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