Recreation center moves to improve its lockers, facility cleanliness

Boasting state-of-the-art design, construction and functionality, the UH Campus Recreation and Wellness Center continues its effort toward improvement.

Director of Campus Recreations Kim Clark said that with the Rec Center being open seven days a week, providing a clean, well-maintained facility has proven to be a challenge to the department.

“Due to the (Rec Center)’s operational hours and high volume of activities, housekeeping staff is on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition, we are working closely with Facilities Management to address deferred maintenance issues and to proceed with the implementation of our capital plan for larger maintenance projects,” Clark said.

Amid complaints about the broken lockers located within high-use areas like the fitness zone and near the three-court gym, Clark explained that the department is searching for replacement locker options.

“We have investigated the possibility of replacing the locker doors and switching to a different lock that would be more reliable and require less maintenance. However, simply replacing the locks (and) doors is not an option due to the original design and installation of the lockers,” Clark said.

To combat this issue, Clark said the funding has increased dramatically.

“We spend about $1 million per year on housekeeping and basic routine maintenance and repairs. The amount spent each year on this plan varies, but this year an excess of $1.5 million has been approved,” Clark said.

The funding will go toward replacing equipment in the fitness zone and the lounge chairs in the facility, addressing the locker issues, screening and recoating the hardwood floors in the facility, replastering the leisure pool and improving Cullen Field, Clark said. The Rec Center will continue to make repairs to the existing equipment, but much of it simply needs to be replaced.

Because of growing student enrollment and an increase in residential status in this semester, Clark anticipated an increased use of the Rec Center. Accordingly, the department plans to identify future recreational challenges to the UH community, such as overcrowding.

“I like going to the (Rec Center) to hit the gym after a long day of classes, but sometimes it’s just too crowded,” said philosophy junior Dat Marto.

The department will begin collecting benchmark data from other institutions concerning the types and amount of recreational space that will meet the students’ needs and demands, Clark said.

“As students, we demand a lot. Aside from good classes, we also need a good place to exercise. I’m glad that UH offers both. I can get active and stay healthy while staying on top of my classes,” said engineering senior James Andrews.

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