LSA junior Evan Begun, who lives near the Intramural Sports Building, prefers to work out in the morning before class.
But after the University scaled back the IM Building’s hours, Begun now has to walk across campus to fit in hitting the gym.
“It’s a lot more difficult getting my workout in before class now that I have to walk to the CCRB (Central Campus Recreation Building),” Begun said.
And Begun isn’t alone.
After the IM Building shortened its hours of operation in the morning and evening, many dedicated students were forced to alter their workout routines. For example, in the morning, the IM building now opens at 8:30 a.m., while last semester it opened at 7 a.m.
Director of Recreational Sports William Canning said the changes were “absolutely financial in nature.”
“The a.m. hours were not well attended, and the evening hours were not well attended,” he said. “And with the financial difficulties that we are experiencing, cutting the building hours will help to get our budget back into balance.”
“I understand the need to save money,” said Kevin Raftery, an LSA sophomore, “but there must be some other way that does not affect such a large amount of students.”
Canning said the department has suffered a drop in revenues, as most of its funding comes from memberships held by University faculty and staff.
“Fifty percent of the speculative income comes from between 3,000 and 3,500 faculty and staff memberships,” Canning said. “Those 3,000 folks are basically subsidizing a lot of the use by 30,000 students.”
But recently, he said, staff and faculty memberships have dipped, causing Recreational Sports to reevaluate its budget.
At the same time, some students think the department should be spending more on its facilities, not less.
Engineering sophomore Jake Askari, who uses the IM Building daily, finds the facility subpar.
“I know that many other universities have televisions next to their cardio equipment and a lot newer equipment,” he said.
LSA sophomore Jake Holbrook agrees.
“It would be nice to have more room in the weight rooms at the CCRB,” he said. “It’s a pretty difficult environment to work out in.”
Canning didn’t argue with such complaints, saying he doesn’t “think what we have is good enough for our student body.”
A University-appointed task force found plenty of room for improvement in a 90-page report released last February.
Cleanliness was the chief concern listed among University students, faculty and staff, and was discussed specifically in the report.
The report also called for “all facilities (to) be upgraded to conditions that are closer to a ‘health club’ atmosphere and less like a high school gymnasium and weight room.”
An expansion of the CCRB’s basketball and swimming facilities, as well as additional space for weight lifting and cardiovascular activities were also recommended.
Canning expressed doubt that any renovations would be made in the near future, but would not rule anything out.
“The report is still being considered,” Canning said. “There are some pretty detailed items, but they are not fixed plans. It is absolutely something that is being looked at and addressed.”