After being closed for six months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Michigan Department of Recreational Sports will reopen campus recreation facilities this coming Monday, Sept. 28. 

The reopening comes after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced on Sept. 3 that gyms across the state would be allowed to resume business as part of the state’s reopening plan.

“A number of changes have been made to ensure the safety and cleanliness of the recreation spaces,” a University Record release reads. “Students and Recreational Sports members will be required to make reservations to work out and to swim, face coverings will be required while working out, and facilities will be operating at decreased capacities and hours to allow for increased cleaning during the day.”

According to the announcement, other changes include plexiglass barriers at the front desks, increased disposable wipe and hand sanitizer locations, increased staffing for cleaning, gym equipment distanced at least 10 feet apart, personal protective equipment and required health screenings for all Rec Sports employees. 

Despite the facilities reopening, certain services will remain closed off to students, including use of all courts including basketball, racquetball, badminton, volleyball and squash, as well as indoor rentals and recreational programming. 

The announcement also made note of a new Rec Sports application that will “allow for contactless entry to the facilities, make facility and pool reservations, find building hours and more.” The app is currently available for download in the Apple App Store for iPhone and the Google Play Store. 

Director of Recreational Sports Mike Widen said that although the gyms will look and work different than they did before, he’s excited for them to open back up.  

“After being closed for over six months, we are excited to be able to reopen the Recreational Sports facilities and serve the health and wellbeing needs of our students and our members,” Widen said. “The experience will look a little different than it did previously.  But we believe we’ve established a number of new protocols that will keep our guests and our employees safe.  We’ve started by reducing capacities at each facility and requiring each guest to make a reservation for their workout on our new U-M Recreational Sports app. These steps will help us limit the total number of people in each facility.”

Daily News Editors Ben Rosenfeld and Liat Weinstein can be reached at and  

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