On March 17, the Recreation Center at the University of Massachusetts opened its doors to intramural and club sports, group fitness classes and individual work-out sessions.
Students are required to present their UCards and show a ‘green check,’ indicating bi-weekly COVID-19 testing compliance on the Campus Health Hub, in order to use the facilities, the Recreation Center’s website says.
Additionally, students are required to schedule a reservation workout block and/or group fitness class through IMLeagues. Each workout reservation block limits 25 people per session, with a 75-minute block. Reservations open 24 hours before the given session. Group fitness classes are held virtually and in person, with varying limits of spots.
According to information posted to the Recreation Center website, the facilities have “implemented a number of safety measures, including de-densifying, social distancing & disinfecting measures.”
Jeanne Orr, the Recreation Center’s interim co-director said, “there have been no significant complications [in the operational process].”
“We’re happy to have the Rec Center reopened and to also be able to provide some outdoor intramural activities on the recreation turf fields,” Orr said.
Jackie Raguso and Victoria Breitenfeld, UMass seniors and member services assistants at the Recreation Center, are optimistic about the re-opening of the facilities and satisfied with students’ efforts to be safe.
“It’s honestly going really well,” Raguso said. “The pro staff and bosses are making sure that everyone follows the state guidelines. I feel like we have a really good system.”
“Students seem to be having a good experience, and everyone is just happy it’s open,” she added.
Breitenfeld said she’s glad to have her job back after a year of the Recreation Center being closed. She described being back as a “different change of scenery,” and said that everything is running smoothly with minimal issues.
“People feel very safe when working out,” Breitenfeld observed. “Everyone is making the most of what we have this year.”
Ashley Guertin, a senior spin instructor, said that “classes are going very well right now despite everything that’s happened with COVID.”
Classes feel normal, Guertin said, with the only key difference being the mask wearing. “But other than that, I think it feels amazing.”
She added that she’s had a lot of first time students come for spin class since the classes resumed.
Like Raguso and Breitenfeld, Guertin said that she hasn’t had any complications while working at the Recreation Center. “Everyone is very understanding and knowledgeable about how things are running currently, and it makes my job as an instructor a lot easier,” she said.
Rachael Dionisio can be reached at [email protected]