The Campus Activities Center will be closed for renovations at the end of October, and the search is underway for an alternate location for basketball, dodgeball and fitness classes to take place.
The fitness center will not be affected and will remain open during the construction on the rest of the building. The CAC Core, the aerobics room, and all CAC offices will be closed. USFSP’s newest addition to campus, Harbor Hall, has a large space comparable to the Core, and will be the main space for events and activities.
Todd Clark, coordinator of fitness and intramurals, is researching parks and facilities in the area for available courts and fields for intramural basketball, volleyball, soccer and football.
Participation in intramurals has grown 70 percent, Clark said. He needs to find locations for the leagues to play.
“Starting the week of August 22, we’ll be talking to students to see where they go,” Clark said.
The goal is to find locations within 10 minutes of school. Clark ensures there will be no fees for intramurals at the off-campus locations because money was set aside last year in preparation for the construction.
“I would be willing to drive within a five or 10 mile radius of the school,” said Alex Sink, senior biology major and intramurals participant. “The closer we are in retrospect to the school, the easier it would be for everyone in the dorms and those who live off-campus.”
“I think I can speak for everyone who participates by saying we would rather travel off-campus to play, rather than not have any games at all,” Sink said.
As for the future home for sand volleyball, Clark said the parking lot behind the gym will “eventually become sand courts” but until then, he is researching a location for both sand and indoor volleyball leagues. Plans for the sport include a tournament in the fall and a league in the spring.
The search also continues for a space for fitness classes. The aerobics room is part of the construction, and there is need for an auxiliary space. The construction will allow the space to provide two or three classes at once.
Despite the construction, Clark is positive about the upcoming changes. He has plans to begin outdoor dodgeball after the Core is no longer available, and indoor dodgeball and cornhole tournaments inside Harbor Hall. Clark hopes this year’s partnerships with Harborside Activities Board, Student Government, the Waterfront and other clubs will promote student involvement. One-day events and fitness challenges are also on the calendar, with fitness awards and giveaways to give students incentives to participate in fitness center activities.
Clark plans to use signs, partnerships and activities on campus to publicize the fitness center once the Core is closed.
The last event scheduled in the CAC is The St. Petersburg Times Festival of Reading, on October 22. Don McCarty, assistant director of student life, said there are “no plans to schedule anything” the last week of October.
“We’ll run up until then, until we don’t have the space,” Clark said of the fitness center.
Clark is happy about the CAC construction, especially because the fitness center is “gaining more space that’s almost more useable,” he said. He believes the new space will appeal to more people. There will be more “fun stuff, as opposed to competitive,” he said.