The new recreation center opened Monday with twice the space of O’Connor
By Joseph Cotton | Staff Writer
The recreation center at the Health United Building (HUB) opened Monday, replacing O’Connor Sports Center as the home of Recreational (Rec) Sports and features $800,000 worth of new equipment. The space is now open after delays created by soil contamination caused the recreation side of the building to be pushed back a semester.
The recreation center offers more than twice the usable space than O’Connor. Amenities include a suspended indoor running track overlooking three wooden basketball courts, a four-lane pool with a wet classroom to the side, three group fitness studios, a cardio bay with 75 pieces of equipment, a lower level weight room featuring hammer strength equipment and an athletic training lab.
The recreation center also features Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant exercise equipment that can be used by those with various levels of accessibility including upper body ergometers and Marpo rope trainers.
The building includes men’s and women’s locker rooms with individual shower stalls, as opposed to the group showers of O’Connor. Wheelchair-accessible family and all-gender restroom pods with full showers are located on every floor.
Rec Sports offers several resources and programs to patrons that were not available at O’Connor, including group exercise classes, personal training, equipment orientation and fitness assessments. They also have fitness floor attendants during peak hours who are available to help students with proper lifting and spotting, as well as general questions and safety.
The new space in the building has allowed Rec Sports to add two new professional staff members: fitness and group exercise coordinator Mackenzie Mcintyre and aquatics and risk management director Jillian Dolciato, who graduated from Xavier in 2013.
Rec Sports will also be utilizing Eco-fit and Stages Flight software to improve user experiences.
Eco-fit is an asset management tool that monitors usage and mileage. The software is designed to extend the life of equipment by allowing machines to be rotated and to assess the needs and wants of users.
Stages Flight is an interactive group cycling program that tracks performance and allows riders to train and compete with one another in group classes.
Another change at the recreation center is that the general student body will no longer be sharing the pool with the Division I swim team. According to Recreational Sports Director Leslie Dulle, this allows the pool to be used exclusively for patrons and more diverse programming such as water volleyball, water basketball and other events.
Dulle expressed excitement about the way the space came together.
“I feel like we (Rec Sports) were absolutely given a voice. I’m extremely appreciative of that,” Dulle said. “(The construction company and Physical Plant) listened to us, as the users of the building, about what we would need and how the space needed to be laid out.”
She went on to say that the space feels “alive, clean and open.”
The front desk offers an array of equipment to be checked out with an ALL Card or valid ID, including various balls, yoga mats and weightlifting equipment.
“If you want something, we probably have it,” facility manager and sophomore business analytics major Matt Doemland said. “Just come to the front desk and get it from one of us.”
Students seem to be impressed with the new offerings at the recreation center.
“I thought it was awesome. Everything is very nice,” sophomore exercise science major Mike O’Connor said. “It has so much. I’m excited to use the basketball courts.”
“It’s so much bigger and everything is a lot more spread out,” business analytics major Meg Czabala said. “You have a lot more space and the equipment is much nicer.”
Construction for the multi-sport court is still underway and is expected to be finished by May as the final part of construction. According to Dulle, the space will open later since it was a more recent addition to the building after Father Michael Graham, president, decided how to use the contingency funding.
There is also a new dining option next to the recreation center called Market C, a fully self-service convenience market and cafe. Market C is operated by AVI food vending, which has no affiliation with ConneX or Chartwells according to AVI route supervisor Jeff Chandler. The store offers a selection of drinks and foods, including Starbucks Coffee and a selection of fresh and healthy food options.
“Everything is priced competitively so it’s very affordable,” Chandler said.
Market C is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and students pay at a kiosk that accepts payment on ALL cards, as well as credit or debit.
The recreation center is open to faculty, staff as well as alumni with paid memberships.
The recreation center is open from 6 a.m. to 12 midnight Monday through Thursday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 12 midnight on Sundays. The pool hours are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
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