Peters Recreation Complex reopens some additional services for students, guests

The Peters Recreation Complex reopen some more areas as Riley County phases out some COVID-19 precautions. (Archive photo by Dalton Wainscott | Collegian Media Group)

The Peters Recreation Complex began this month to reopen some services previously closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Rec opened the north sand volleyball courts on March 10 and racquetball courts, squash courts and the games lounge on March 15. However, there is a two-person limit for each indoor court.

Masks are required and social distancing is strongly encouraged when possible.

Steve Martini, director of recreational services, and John Wondra, associate director of development and communications at the Rec, introduced the reopening plan to several campus leaders, including Dr. Kyle Goerl, Lafene Medical Director and Derek Jackson, associate vice president for student life.

Jason Brungardt, assistant director of facility operations at the Rec, said the reopening plan is a step in the right direction.

“All fall, we were pretty stagnant and now we’re making steps in that direction towards normalcy,” Brungardt said.

The outdoor Rec will open March 22 — pending weather conditions — and members can rent canoes, paddle boards and kayaks.

Brungardt said the Rec will even hold a fraternity basketball tournament.

However, he said it is hard to tell what the plan is going into the summer and the fall.

“Everything very much is TBD right now,” Brungardt said. “We’re going off of what other universities are doing well but also we have to follow the phasing protocols that the university has in place.”

As of March 13, members can bring guests with a few exceptions: guest sales are only available on weekends, the host can only bring one guest, the fee is $8.00 with no refunds and guests must be 18 years old or older with the exception of a family member 14 to 17 years old.

Wondra said he hopes for operations to return to normal by the fall, but it all depends on how the pandemic affects the area.

Even though only a few areas are open at the Rec, Brungardt said those areas offer some escapism for students.

“The Rec is a way for students to get away from added stress or pressure,” Brungardt said. “We’ve played a big part in that.”

He said even though enrollment declined, the number of students going to the Rec is still high.

Grace Reiman, recreational service staff member and junior in apparel and textiles, said she thinks now is a good time to start reopening areas and that the Rec is a great place for students to stay active during the pandemic.

“I think exercise helps with my mental health,” Reiman said. “I know a lot of people are struggling with being stuck at home. Since the Rec has taken a lot of precautions, I believe that it is safe.”

Group classes, personal training and some intramural sports that allow for social distancing and safety will still continue this semester.

Wondra said he hopes to include some outdoor team sports in the spring session of intramural sports.