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January 3, 2012
5 things you didn’t know about the new Rec center
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When the Recreation Center Expansion Project opens in mid-January, students for the first time will be able to see what Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) started working on in 2008. Mustang Daily went on an early tour of the facilities in and around the Recreation Center in late November and found several features that haven’t been heavily publicized to Cal Poly students yet. Brita hydration stations There are Brita water-bottle filling stations in several rooms throughout the Recreation Center. ASI Programs Director Marcy Maloney said the Britas are her favorite elements of the center. “The hydration stations, that’s great sustainability,” she said. “It’s one of those little secrets of the building that will be a nice perk.” The systems use reverse osmosis to filter water, similar to what one would find in a standard Brita product, facilities project manager Perry Judd said. “It’s just built into the wall,” Judd said. “It’s really convenient. You might have the same thing in your own home.” Maloney said the entire Recreation Center was designed with sustainability in mind, so people are encouraged to bring their own water bottles to the facility. As of now, there will be no vending machines with plastic water bottles like in the past. Maloney said, however, this could change as they observe student demands. “We just knew we were looking at sustainability when we were designing the building,” she said. “We obviously want people to bring their own water bottles, versus having so much recycling going on. Everyone brings their own anyway, so why not encourage people to do that? By having a hydration system with filtered water, it only encourages people to do it more often.”
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Poly Escapes facility Poly Escapes, which offers outdoor recreational opportunities to students, will move its offices from the Julian A. McPhee University Union to the new Recreation Center.
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Poly Escapes will take with it an upgraded 42-foot rock climbing wall, as well as a 10-foot bouldering wall. University Union Advisory Board Chair Karen Mesrobian said she was asked about moving Poly Escapes to the new facility to fill an empty space near the front of the facility. She said she hopes this new location will bring additional opportunities to the organization. “It’s going to have a really front and center location,” Mesrobian said. “I think it’s going to help them get more people on trips and everything else they do.” The bouldering and rock climbing walls will not be opened at the same time as the Recreation Center. They are still under construction and have not yet been shipped to Cal Poly. When they do come, they will be open for use during the day and early evenings. This could change, Maloney said, depending on when the walls are used most. “We’ll try to find the flow of when people have the most time to play,” she said. Different atmospheres of weight rooms
The new facility has three distinct weight rooms, which ASI intends to be used by those of different weight lifting skill and preference. The largest overlooks Perimeter Road and houses approximately 100 machines. It has the heaviest weights, and is designed for those who are serious about working out, Maloney said. There are two other weight rooms, including one that is secluded from much of the gym and accessible by a walkway alongside the indoor track. This includes machines designed for handicapped individuals. “There really is a place for everyone to work out, no matter what your experience, or what your interest is,” Mesrobian said. The indoor track
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Fitting a 1/8 mile track in the new Recreation Center was no easy task, Judd said. It involved finding a creative way to loop it through the facility, and the designers finally settled on an Lshaped loop that contains three lanes. “It’s kind of unique because it’s not just a typical rectangle or oval,” Judd said. “To get it 1/8 of a mile, we had to wind it around the lobby area, and we think it’s a pretty unique feature that’s aesthetically pretty attractive.” The track passes by two of the weight rooms and runs directly over the two basketball courts that will be reserved for informal use. It also provides a view of the back outdoor area, including the current lap pool and a new leisure pool, as well as Bishop Peak.
“There’s activity going on around you, and it’s kind of like you’re traveling,” Mesrobian said. “When you’re on a track, you feel like you’re going in circles and just making lap after lap. But when you’re on that track, it feels like you’re going on a run in different areas.” Maloney said she still expects people to run outdoors due to the fair weather in San Luis Obispo, but she believes the track will be popular with students. “For people who run in the evenings, or just want to do a light warm up, I think it’s going to be perfect,” she said. “I still think we’re going to see a lot of people running outside, but for safety purposes in the evenings when it is dark, I think we’ll see a lot of people who are going to be using it.”
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Spinning studio One of the three studio rooms adjacent to the large workout room will be designed for a spinning studio. It will have 45 stationary spinning bikes, and will have three or four classes taught per day. “Spin has pretty much been around for a decade, and we think it’s here to stay for a while,” Maloney said. The floor of the studio was fitted especially for spinning, but Maloney said ASI recognizes the
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possibility that spinning may not be relevant in the future. Designers made the floor able to pull out to reveal a wood flooring beneath it. “With every space, we try to think about the future,” Maloney said. “Because exercise fads come and go.” TAGS: ASI, Associated Students Inc, Brita, featured, indoor track, Karen Mesrobian, Poly Escapes, Recreation Center expansion
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