Locations in Martin Hall and old high school facilities to address overcrowding

By Danielle Goldberg, The Miami Student

Miami’s Recreation Center plans to expand from its main location on South Quad to two satellite locations in the basement of Martin Hall and Talawanda High School’s old sports facilities. Building satellite recreation centers, beginning next year, will address the No. 1 student concern regarding the Rec: overcrowding.

Mike Arnos, interim senior director of Programs and Academic Partnerships, said Miami wants Martin Hall’s basement to include similar equipment as the Rec, including treadmills, free weights and space for aerobics.

“We’ve always had eyes on trying to get some recreation and fitness space on the north side of campus,” he said.

With the demolition of Withrow Court, Arnos said there should be some sort of exercise available to students who live in different areas.

The renovated Talawanda sports facilities will be called Chestnut Fields. The main purpose of this area will be to serve Miami Club Sports teams for practices and conditioning.

Attached to the Talawanda sports facilities is a field house that will be renovated to accommodate teams as well as individual students. This section of Chestnut Fields will closely resemble the purpose of Room X at the Rec Center as a place designated for aerobic, weight and cross-fit oriented workouts. This workout room is about half the size of the aerobics spaces at the Rec Center.

Arnos predicted the primary users of this room could be anyone that would need a multi-purpose space.

Additionally, there will be group fitness opportunities in this new center. Rec Center staff hopes to see hours of operation ranging roughly from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The point of renovating this facility is to upgrade its with parking and restrooms, Arnos said.

Executive Director for Recreation Services Doug Curry said all changes made are based on how to serve the students better.

Senior Anna Bethlahmy said these satellite locations would be beneficial to Miami as a whole.

“I think it’s a good idea, especially for people who live far from the gym,” she said. “Renovating the Talawanda site is better for people who are off-campus.”

David Creamer, senior vice president of Miami Business and Financial Services, detailed the funding process for these projects.

Creamer stressed that there will be no new student fees, and that these projects will be funded with the Rec’s existing funds. He said that the Rec Center has funds already allocated to replace equipment and to purchase new equipment, and that Miami will appropriate funds for the satellite locations.

The only fees from students would be incurred if they choose to sign up for group fitness classes and to participate in club sports, as aligns with current recreation policy. There will be no fee for individual exercise.

Opening satellite locations will allow the original recreation center to maintain its purpose: to serve students.

“The Rec Center was built on a philosophy of drop-in recreation,” Curry said. “That’s why we don’t hold intramural sports here. Even during swim meets, there are lanes open for students to work out.”

In the future, it is possible that the Rec Center may open additional satellite locations, should opportunities arise.

“We generally say yes if there’s any space on campus,” Curry said.