Despite months of waffling uncertainty, the aerobics room officially closed Jan. 30, budging Fit-4-Life classes to other spaces on campus while CAC renovations get under way.
“It was supposed to be closed a couple of months ago,” said Professor Jose Torres, who instructs karate classes in the Fit-4-Life program. When Torres was asked on Thursday, Jan. 26 if he had any idea when classes in the room would cease, he said, “We don’t really have a timeline. We didn’t get any kind of closure date on that.”
The plan was actually finalized the day before, but notice of the room’s closure wasn’t made public until late Thursday afternoon, when it was posted to the web.
Students were notified on the campus recreation website, Twitter and Facebook that alongside the room’s closure, Fit-4-Life classes were canceled for the upcoming week with a new schedule to follow. Instructors were emailed about the change afterward.
“It’s gone back and forth two or three times,” said Nic Boynton, who instructs different martial art classes for the program, which had been held in the room.
The status of the aerobics room has been ambiguous since last semester, Boynton said. The room shut down indefinitely last fall, only to be reopened shortly after. There was also word that the room wouldn’t be closed until April.
But closing the aerobics room has been the plan all along, said John Trecastelli, the university architect overseeing the renovations. Life safety systems—fire alarms, exit signs and air conditioning—would be intermittent during construction, which would make for an unsuitable environment for students.
Todd Clark, coordinator of Fitness & Intramurals, posted the new Fit-4-Life schedule on Feb. 2. Clark hoped there would be an alternative to closing the aerobics room during renovation, and “didn’t want to put anything out there” until plans were finalized.
The Harbor Hall Community Room will be home to most classes, with others meeting in the Fitness Center or Coquina Club (after Chic-Fil-A closes for the evenings).
Fit-4-Life Yoga classes have been filled to capacity in the last few weeks, and instructor Lindsay Cross says she thinks the location change will cause a mix-up.
“I think it will be confusing for students to have class … at Harbor Hall. I also don’t know how things like signing in or paying [for those that aren’t students] will go if we’re not in the CAC,” she said.
There are a few things to work out, she said, but she is hopeful her class will find the right place.
While karate instructor Torres said the aerobics room was ideal for his classes—with mirrors on the walls making it easier for students to check their technique—he says his classes really only require an open space and a clean floor. His classes will now meet in the Harbor Hall Community Room.
Torres said he isn’t upset about the confusion of the aerobics room’s closure, but would like to see communication improve.
“I don’t think it’s anything malicious,” he said. “A lot of students use the facility. It’s important to keep the lines of communication open.”
While this semester might cause some strain for Fit-4-Life students and instructors, there is an upside to the growing pains, said fitness coordinator Todd Clark: renovations will create three times as much space for Fit-4-Life once complete.