Campus Recreation Center Opened for Four Days After North Carolina’s Switch to Phase 2.5

Campus+Recreation+Center+Opened+for+Four+Days+After+North+Carolina%E2%80%99s+Switch+to+Phase+2.5

Ameer Robertson, TheYard (SGA) reporter

Six months into the coronavirus pandemic, fitness centers have reopened and state mandates on large gatherings have relaxed. This allowed N.C. A&T to open it’s campus recreation center but due to unforeseen circumstances, it closed after four days.

On Friday Sept. 4, Governor Roy Cooper outlined the next step in North Carolina’s reopening plan. Here is what it will look like to the residents of Greensboro:

  • Bars, clubs, amusement parks, movie theaters and indoor entertainment are still closed.
  • Limits on mass gatherings have increased to 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors.
  • Face coverings are still required under Executive Order 147, but the age requirements have been lowered from 11 years old to 5 years old.
  • Gyms and fitness studios are allowed 30% capacity (yoga centers, martial arts, bowling, skating venues, indoor basketball, etc.)

N.C. A&T moved forward with its reopening plans for the Campus Recreation Center, with many new protocols and procedures in place. 

The Campus Recreation Center opened on Monday, Sept. 7, with quite a few changes to their entire process. Their hours were as followed:

  • Monday – Friday (8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.) (4:00 p.m – 9:00 p.m.)
  • Closed Saturday and Sunday

In addition, there was a limit of 15 students that could work out in the gym for each time slot and those slots were only available for an hour. Students were expected to sign up online for the time slot they want to work out.

If students were 15 minutes late to their selected time slot, their spot was given to whoever was waiting next in line, so it was essential to be on time.

The site is currently down due to the extreme number of students attempting to sign up, and the Campus Recreation Center is currently closed due to unforeseen circumstances.

Kmaia Mix, a senior business management student with a concentration in entrepreneurship has been working at the Campus Recreation Center for three years. 

While creating precautions for opening the Campus Recreation Center, Mix pushed for the Recreation Center’s new motto of “Safety Four”, which requires students to wear a mask while inside the building, bring their own personal water bottle, a personal drying towel and AggieOne card.

Mix believes that N.C. A&T and the Campus Recreation Center will take the proper precautions to keep the students safe, and she thinks the opening of the center last week was thoroughly prepared for.

“I feel like it is a good thing, as long as there are rules in hand. So, we have been cleaning and keeping a cap number on how many people are allowed in the gym,” Mix said. “We just watch out for everybody and it works if everyone follows what they are supposed to do,” 

In the first week of opening, the Campus Recreation Center was able to run with no issues from students.

“We haven’t had any problems so far, everything has been running smoothly, if they need to take your mask down for a little bit, they still remain a 6 feet distance,” said Mix.

Michael Bivens, a sophomore kinesiology student has frequented the recreational center for over a year now, and he is happy with how the center was operating earlier in the week.

“At first I wasn’t very sure about how it would work, but after I went and experienced it, they have it ran a very tight ship, I like it, 15 people is a good amount and everyone is spread out, so you do not have to be by a lot of people,” said Bivens.

Jailah White, a freshman bioengineering student, was able to step foot in the rec center for the very first time this week, and she felt very safe when doing so.

“I like that there are not that many people because of Covid-19 and because it gives the people that do not really go to the gym less pressure to be like everyone else that is in the gym all the time,” said White. 

When discussing the changes in Phase 2.5 and how the gathering sizes have changed, Ms. White mentioned that she is happy something on campus is open, but she hopes for freshman related events to take place on campus, as many feel like Covid-19 messed up their first-year experience.

“Our whole freshman experience is messed up, we don’t even get GHOE,” said White.

Although Phase 2.5 is allowing North Carolina to open up more facilities and events, many students here at N.C. A&T understand that they should ease into the transitioning process. 

The Recreation Center is said to reopen again once North Carolina transitions to Phase 3. This will allow the Recreation Center to fix all of the problems with its website and continue to ensure the health and safety of the students.

“We will still be in the gym doing virtual videos and meetings, just content to put out for people until we open back up,” said Mix.