Rec climbs towards full capacity, pre-pandemic normalcy

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The Peters Recreation Complex has continued to open up many areas of the building in stages, including the basketball courts, climbing wall and group fitness activities like yoga. (Dylan Connell | Collegian Media Group)

The Peters Recreation Complex is working towards becoming fully open once again. A few parts of the Rec recently opened, including indoor and outdoor basketball courts.

“The Rec as a whole is opening more, and the basketball courts have opened back up,” Sam West, climbing wall program assistant and senior in parks management and conservation, said.

The indoor courts are only open for members to “shoot around,” not to play pick-up games quite yet. Some students are hoping for that chance soon, but for now, they will have to stick to improving their shooting skills.

“Inside the facility, we are basically allowing students to shoot only at a basket,” Clint Hafliger, associate director at Recreation Services, said. “We try to limit to two [people] per basket.”

Similar to the indoor basketball courts, a few outdoor facilities have re-opened.

“The outside basketball courts are open again, and the sand volleyball courts because of the warm weather,” West said.

Students like Kortney Rowe, freshman in architecture, are excited for the outdoor intramural sports to come back this spring as well.

Chester E. Peters Recreation Complex has continued to open up many areas of the building in stages, including the basketball courts, climbing wall, and group fitness activities like yoga. 4/21/21. (Dylan Connell | Collegian Media Group)
The Peters Recreation Complex has continued to open up many areas of the building in stages, including the basketball courts, climbing wall and group fitness activities like yoga. (Dylan Connell | Collegian Media Group)

“I definitely want to do soccer, and the slow-pitch softball sounds really fun,” Rowe said. “I know that a lot of those are starting up again, so that is really exciting.”

Spring intramural registration for select activities is still open until the end of April. Staff members said they were excited to announce the return of almost every sport offered in previous years.

“We started planning intramurals outside in basically all sports, and we started that at the beginning of April. We play softball, soccer and I think they are playing some football,” Hafliger said.

Additionally, the Rec is now allowing non-K-State members admission to the facility as long as they come with a K-State student or staff. This is in part of the increased capacity limit throughout the building.

“It used to be that you couldn’t host anyone in as a guest at the Rec building as a whole, but now anyone that is a member, from a student or someone with a key tag membership, can host three people if they are 18 years and older,” West said.

Larger rooms in the facility will now host exercise classes with the intent to allow participants to feel safe exercising around others in the class.

“We started out in the group exercise rooms then we had to switch to teaching in the small gyms this semester, and now we are back in the fitness rooms,” Lauren Gasiorowski, group fitness instructor and senior in secondary education and French, said. “A lot of rules keep changing, so we keep changing where we have the classes to keep up with number sizing.”

To keep up with good social distancing practices, the Rec will continue to space out equipment in each workout room. The cardio deck has some treadmills blocked off and spaced out, as well as the weight racks.

“They have taken away a lot of the treadmills I noticed, so when it is during the busier times of day it is harder to find a spot,” Rowe said. “As well as with the weight racks, it is hard to get one, and to get it you have to wait your turn.”

The rock wall is at half capacity and has closed some climbing ropes to keep distance between each climber, preventing them from getting too close to one another.

“At the rock wall specifically, you have to leave a space between each rope on the rock wall, so you cannot climb next to somebody,” West said.

Some students said they are fine with the Rec closing off a portion of the treadmills because of the uncomfortableness they experience while running with a mask on.

“Since wearing masks is required at the Rec Center and the gyms in my hometown, I try not to run on the treadmill as much because it is really annoying having to breathe in with your mask there,” Rowe said.

The Rec will continue to follow campus guidelines and wait to continue opening other parts of the facility.

“We wait for the directions from the university and work with leaders around campus to determine what we can and can’t do and try to keep everyone at [the] Rec safe,” Hafliger said.

Gasiorowski is excited to rebuild the fitness community at the Rec as it continues to open and people are able to work out with one another again.

“One of my favorite parts of exercising is the community that it builds, and I am excited that people will be able to go to the Rec together or have more opportunities to talk to people in the group fitness rooms,” Gasiorowski said.

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