Campus recreation slowly expands operations


Lanie Hibel

Sophomore Mary Pelzer scales the rock climbing wall in the ARC on Saturday afternoon.

By Elizabeth Lebeau, Contributing Writer

Although the University has two recreational centers for students, CRCE and the ARC will remain closed for the rest of the fall to be used as a COVID-19 testing center. 

Meanwhile, the ARC is gradually regaining operations as the semester goes on, with live facility counts, a mask requirement and a reservation system to reopen safely. 

It starts at the check-in lane, where users not only have to swipe their i-cards but show their Safer Illinois building entry statuses to be let in.

During the first stage of reopening, from Aug. 17-24, the ARC was closed on weekends with only cardio and strength equipment available. After Aug. 24, the ARC opened on weekends and added more areas, such as the Gym Four cardio space and personal trainers.

In mid-September, the climbing wall opened, while the ARC indoor pool became available with reservations on Oct. 1. 

Reservations must be made for certain spaces and other amenities in order to use them, such as the climbing wall and the indoor pool. The ARC has added an online reservation portal to allow for proper cleaning and sanitizing procedures. 

On-campus individuals can use the cardio and strength training equipment as well as the track without needing a reservation. 

Even with all the openings, the ARC is still not at full capacity. The saunas, some of the gyms and the outdoor pool are still closed, and basic amenities like drinking fountains, vending machines, towel service and stretching mats are unavailable. 

The ARC has implemented live facility counts, reporting how many people are in each exercise area. Currently, the maximum building capacity in all wings of the ARC is at 184. 

Live figures can be viewed on the Campus Rec website and in displays throughout the facility. 

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