The rec’s in effect

The sparkly “new” PSU Campus Rec Center is sure to impress students and alumni alike, truly offering something for everyone.

The sparkly “new” PSU Campus Rec Center is sure to impress students and alumni alike, truly offering something for everyone. There is an expansive weight room filled with new machines and free weights, many of which are ready for use by physically challenged students. One floor up, students will find a wide selection of cardio equipment, including a variety of bicycles, rowing machines, elliptical trainers and treadmills, while taking in a view of the weight room below. Most of the cardio machines are outfitted with small screens, just in case the user needs a little extra help busting through any boredom that may arise. The center also offers a variety of aquatics in the handicap-accessible pool, rock climbing on an indoor wall, a 146-meter indoor running track, three basketball courts, a small roller rink for skating and hockey and a variety of exercise classes.

Though most are sadly unaware of its existence, Campus Rec also has a very active outdoor program that offers about 25 trips per term. Some of the activities offered are kayaking, hiking, rock climbing and even spelunking—with PSU students benefitting from a discount. The outdoor program also rents out a wide variety of equipment at completive rates. The equipment rental center has just about everything any enthusiast of the great outdoors could hope for. Whether the student wants to camp, backpack, mountain climb, ski, raft or kayak, Campus Rec has them covered.

Of course, I put the word “new” in quotes, because cleanliness is another area that the rec center doesn’t take lightly—the center was briefly shut down toward the end of summer term in order to clean the facility and improve its efficiency. A staff of 40-plus members spent more than 500 hours on the task. All of the floors were scrubbed, much of it done by hand. This required moving over three tons of weight and cardio equipment. (How’s that for a workout?) All of the weight and cardio equipment itself was also cleaned and scrubbed. Every locker was cleaned, all carpeted areas were shampooed, and each window was cleaned inside and out. The pool was drained and new, safer drains were installed. Broken tiles were replaced in the locker rooms. It sounds like a lot of work, and it certainly is, but after a look around the center, there’s no doubt that the effort was worth the end result.

The Rec Center is not only impressive in its size and its variety of activities, but also in its efforts to be sustainable and environmentally friendly. The building is one of only a small handful Gold LEED certified structures in the country. This remarkable achievement was made possible thanks to solar panels and rainwater collection on the roof, an abundance of natural lighting throughout the facility, light sensors that automatically dim or brighten fixtures based on the level of natural light present, and plenty of ceiling fans and operable windows to really reduce the need for air conditioning. With the use of the ReRev system, cardio machines power themselves by converting the kinetic energy generated by the user into electricity.

Located right across from the campus bookstore, The PSU Rec Center beckons novice and gym rats alike. Hours of operation are 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., Monday through Friday. Saturday hours are 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday hours are noon to 8 p.m. Membership is free for current students (or more accurately, already covered by student fees and tuition). Students should bring their PSU One cards for identification and admission to the center. PSU alumni and faculty/staff can join the center for $35 per month.