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ARC opens largest on-campus recreational among Big Ten

By Nathalie Murillo

New Strength & Conditioning Zone at ARC. Courtesy of Illinois Campus Rec

With the new school year comes new resolutions, and many students find themselves heading over to their campus gym at the beginning of each academic year to accomplish their fitness goals. However, an influx of students can create a lack of space and long wait times to use equipment. The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign mitigated this issue this month by introducing their brand new Strength and conditioning zone at their Activities and Recreational Center.

And now with double the dumbbells and double the space, the new zone has been gaining attraction for its brand new equipment. Currently the largest Strength & Conditioning space among the Big Ten, a stream of students are coming in to check out what the new space has to offer. The 19,219 square foot facility is not only more spacious, but offers a variety of equipment to use.

Coming in to workout on an already busy schedule only to find yourself waiting to use the free weights can be frustrating for many. A compilation of feedback from students and patrons like these motivated the remodeling of gym four. This summer, the university went to work and spent $150 thousand on new equipment ranging from free weights, indoor turf, power racks to sectorized weight equipment.

Senior Blanca Estrada, a regular at the ARC since her sophomore year, has been working out at the remodeled facility. She admitted the first week being busy with significant wait times, however with the zone being more spacious, she has seen wait times decrease. She appreciates the university’s efforts in creating a more efficient fitness environment for students.

“It’s nice they’re investing in the health of students,” says Estrada.

The entire 340,000 square foot building was opened in 2008 as one of the largest recreational facilities in the nation. The $54 million project includes three gyms, two courts, various fitness areas, climbing wall, boulder cave, multipurpose rooms and an indoor and outdoor pool for year round aquatics. The ARC hosts group fitness, personal training, intramural and various other fitness programs and classes for students to enjoy while on campus.

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