By Lauren Gudknecht
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, different changes and new policies have been implemented this semester, and one of the places that was most affected was the KU Rec Center. The Coordinator of Structured Sports for the Rec Center, Matt Barrett, helped to coordinate measurements to ensure safety at the facility.
“We had to move the equipment around and re-locate it at the West Gym where the big basketball court is, and some machines have been taken offline in order to maintain social distancing,” Barrett said.
Even with these moves, almost all of the equipment is still available for use, since the large area of the basketball court allows for appropriate social distancing for the equipment.
Patrons must swipe in and out of the facility in order to keep an accurate log of who enters and exits the building. They are allowed in the Rec Center for no more than an hour with a limit of 60 people at a time.
“Masks must be worn at all times in the facility, including while working out,” Barrett added.
All of the cardio and weight lifting equipment is still available. However, the Rec Center is not allowing students to check out equipment such as basketballs, jump ropes or weight belts. The basketball courts, racquetball courts, rock climbing wall and indoor track are all closed at this time.
“Group exercise classes are still taking place with a max of 12 patrons per class,” Barrett said.
The Rec Center staff members are now positioned at certain areas throughout the fitness center or West Gym to assist with cleaning equipment and assisting guests by giving them attachments for certain machines.
“Each machine has a card with a red light on one side, and we ask patrons to turn the card from green to red when they are done using the piece of equipment so the staff knows that it needs to be cleaned so others do not use it until otherwise,” Barrett said.
On the Rec Services website, a live feed of the facility count is updated every half an hour so that visitors can see how many guests are in the building at that time.
The staff plans to keep the Rec Center open and hopes to allow for more patrons to use the facility when regulations allow. Until then, they recommend social distancing and wearing a mask at all times to ensure both the safety of patrons and of the staff.