By Cole Davidheiser
The Recreational Center (Rec Center) on KU’s campus is one of its most widely used buildings. However, according to students, there is an overcrowding issue within the facility that needs addressing.
Junior Derek Stefano said, “As a freshman, I learned a serious problem at the Rec Center is overcrowding, and that’s what drove me to come to the gym outside of Kutztown for the past two years.”
The staff in previous semesters took tallies of students using different areas of the gym every hour. This semester however, the staff is now looking for large groups in particular areas at a time.
The facility is open Monday through Thursday from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Fridays. This gives students a wide range of time to make it to the facilities, but with classes being held at most of those hours, most students are only free between the hours of 4 to 9 p.m. and the problem has still persisted.
“Consequently the busiest hours are between 4 to 9 p.m.,” said Amy Sandt, director of Recreational Services.
“These times make a one hour workout easily prolonged into a two hour deal,” said Matthew Frizalone, a senior.
The Rec Center has added an outdoor basketball court, more group exercise class opportunities to students during busy hours and has changed the rock wall climbing hours.
Sandt said that these additions have all had an impact on the overcrowding.
“These options seem to be growing in popularity among students,” Sabdt said.
Frizalone however disagreed.
“While the new hours on the rock wall are nice and the basketball courts replaced the eye sore that once stood, this is not solving the overcrowding issue,” he said.
“I think some of these aspects of the changes made here at the gym cause the Rec Center to be more crowded. This issue has caused my friends and I to find alternative times to come to make sure I can get the machines I need,” said Zachary Mitchell, a staff member of the Rec Center.
The staff members sit at the desk and monitor the number of students who swipe their ID cards to get access into the gym. They then use those numbers and compare them to previous records to learn if overcrowding is going up or down.
“The numbers of students using the Rec Center are actually down compared to previous semesters, but the issue of overcrowding has surfaced to the staff,” says Sandt. “The Rec Center staff is constantly looking for new ways to battle this issue and always open to new ideas of how to overcome it,” she said.