Athletic facilities adapt to summer attendance

The pool at Dixon Recreation Center will be closed from August 13 to September 3.

James Trotter, News Contributor

Langton Hall will provide services to students during Dixon maintenance closures

With summer underway, athletic facilities at Oregon State University are adapting their normal operations to accommodate seasonal changes in the student body.

Brian Hustoles, the marketing and communications manager at Dixon Recreation Center, said one of their goals is to keep students engaged with their health and well-being over the summer by continuing to offer access to Rec Sports facilities and programs. The department offers group fitness classes from Monday through Friday, intramural sport programs and Adventure Leadership Institute classes, as well as other services.

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“We still offer a diverse array of programs and facilities over the summer,” Hustoles said. “So there’s a variety of opportunities for members to continue to have fun while pursuing their health and fitness goals.”

One of the larger challenges that the recreation program faces is lower attendance. Troy Snow, the senior assistant director of operations and student initiatives, explained that due to the lower demand, it can be difficult to run smaller fitness classes and intramural programs. If not enough people attend, the classes are cancelled. 

Despite this, the Department of Recreational Sports strives to provide fitness programs that are similar in quality to those offered during the rest of the year, according to Snow.

“We’re still making and creating the environment that we try to create during the academic year, but transitioning that to summer,” Snow said. 

While lower summer attendance does have its challenges, there are also some benefits for individuals who enjoy smaller, more personalized classes or who feel intimidated by large groups, Hustoles said.

“This provides an excellent opportunity for members to receive individualized attention from an instructor at a group fitness class, build community with their classmates, or to try out a new piece of equipment or activity such as rock climbing or bouldering,” Hustoles said.

Additionally, the lower population allows for athletic facilities to perform heavy maintenance tasks and remodeling with minimized disruption to student access. 

According to Snow, McAlexander Fieldhouse is undergoing renovations to replace and improve its athletic resources by adding a Queenax system, which is a set of modular weight room equipment that strives to be versatile and compact. A portion of the floor of the building, previously covered by weight equipment, is being removed to accommodate the new equipment.

“It will allow for more individualized training to occur, and will provide a number of different opportunities for people to try some different things that you don’t necessarily experience in a normal weight room here,” Snow said. “We’re really excited about it.”

According to Hustoles, Dixon will be closed towards the end of the summer to refinish the basketball courts and to perform pool and equipment maintenance. However, the department still works to provide summer services despite the closure.

“McAlexander Fieldhouse is open during the closure and the Adventure Leadership Institute continues to offer gear rental to help the community enjoy the outdoors during this perfect time of the year,” Hustoles said

According to Snow, the Langton Hall pool will also be made available for students to use during Dixon’s closure. 

According to Debi Rothermund, the facilities and safety coordinator for the School of Biological and Population Health Sciences, Dixon and Langton continue to be cooperative with each other, as Langton provides contractual hours to Recreational Sports in the fall for volleyball and winter for basketball.

“There aren’t any big changes in operation, because the times that Dixon uses mainly for our pool are early in the morning and late in the evening, which are times that we don’t usually use during the summertime,” Rothermund said. 

Dixon’s summer closures do not impact Langton because the only other room needed in Langton Hall is the weight room, according to Rothermund. The programs that normally use this space close at the end of August, which allows Recreational Sports to use the space in the morning and evening.

According to Rothermund, similar to Dixon and McAlexander Fieldhouse, Langton and the Women’s Building also undergo renovations and maintenance.

“The Women’s Building gym, the wood floor was splitting terribly,” Rothermund said. “Kendo club is in there, which is sport club, and they were getting splinters and some of the boards were breaking.”

The gym is currently closed, and the boards are being replaced and refinished. The floors in Langton are usually only refinished once every other year during Christmas break, Rothermund said.

“During the breaks I don’t usually rent out the facility because we do like to do maintenance,” Rothermund said. “There’s not a lot of maintenance to be done versus open areas, but the floors get done usually every other year.”

Dixon Recreation Center is open Monday through Friday 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The pool will close on August 13, and Dixon will completely close on August 20, reopening on September 3. Langton Hall is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.