ARC vs. CRCE: recreation centers on campus

By Brooks Berish, Assistant supplements editor

The recreational facilities at the University of Illinois represent an important part of campus life. I think that, more so than at most other schools, these facilities serve as a gathering ground for people to exercise, relax, and socialize. The two main recreational facilities are the Campus Recreation Center East (CRCE) and the Activities and Recreation Center (ARC).

Since the ARC happens to be one of the biggest recreational facilities in the country, one would expect that CRCE wouldn’t really have anything else to offer. However, they both offer different things and possess several differences, among them being their general location. This will ultimately serve as the main decision maker as to where one would choose to go work out or exercise.

Both facilities have an extensive assortment of exercise equipment and cardio machines. The ARC, of course, has a larger selection of equipment and a larger indoor running track: 1/5 of a mile as opposed to CRCE’s 1/8 of a mile track. The ARC has lots of cool amenities that would attract even students who live on the other side of campus.

They have a 35-foot climbing wall, two 50-foot swimming pools, a 35-person sauna, 12 racquetball courts, an instructional kitchen, a massage center, a café, twelve racquetball courts, four gymnasiums and nine multipurpose areas. CRCE does not have most of those things, but it does have an indoor field, three racquetball courts, an aquatic center (including a leisure pool, water slide, volcano fountain, and a 12-person spa) and a three-court gymnasium.

One of the big plusses about living in one of the Ikenberry Residence Halls is that you are so close to the ARC. When I was thinking about going for a workout at the ARC and I had time on my hands, it was difficult to come up with an excuse as to why I shouldn’t go because of its convenient location. It’s located at the south end of the Ikenberry residence halls, just in front of Memorial Stadium.

CRCE is located next to Allen Hall and is just a short walk from the quad. I can only speak for the ARC since I didn’t exercise regularly at CRCE, but I could definitely tell that the ARC was the least busy at around noon and in the morning during the week. There are a lot of people who live around the ARC area so the workout rooms there can get pretty busy regardless of their large size.

If someone wanted to play basketball, the ARC would probably be the place to go. There are plenty of courts and there are always some people to pick up a game with. Later in the day, the basketball courts do tend to fill up so be prepared to wait for an open court or for the next game.

When it comes down to where someone would want to work out, it’s really just about which recreational facility is closer. The ARC does have a lot more to offer, but CRCE has a great facility with all of the same essentials that the ARC has. No matter where you live, the buses drop off in front of both of the recreational centers so there really isn’t much keeping someone from regularly going to both of them.

These are top-notch, all-encompassing recreational facilities and one would be hard-pressed to not find something for them.

Brooks is a sophomore in DGS.
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