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ARC memberships at all-time high, expansion to be considered

by Giovanni Reyes, Contributor

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The Aztec Recreation Center is currently at an all-time high for membership.

With more than 18,500 members, current space is becoming increasingly crowded.

“As of now, Associated Students does not plan on capping membership,” said Chris Thomas, recreation and wellness commissioner. “This is a community-based gym so it’s not just SDSU students that use the gym, it’s the community as well.”

Recently, a new state-of-the art gym, exclusive for club athletes, opened up.

It also facilitates Olympic and instructional classes, as well.

As of now, though, it will remain just that, an exclusive gym for only a few as opening it up to the wider student body would require A.S. to staff it for health and safety reasons.

Sophomore international business major Kate Seperack said the new gym shouldn’t be open to students.

“Honestly, I think it’s fine how it is,” she said. “You just have to find the prime time to go.”

A future expansion may be on the horizon, though.

There are ongoing development talks that would set a roadmap for expanding the main ARC.

Afterwards, the old area would be renovated to match the new development. It would most likely be a horizontal expansion, as that would allow the old gym to remain in use during construction.

A vertical expansion to build a second story would require the entire facility to shut down and would be more expensive thanks to overnight construction costs. The current plan is to double the square footage from 70,000 to 140,000.

“Just because it is currently experiencing a lot of overuse, a lot of new memberships are coming in,” Thomas said. “It’s getting to become a small space for the amount of people we have to accommodate on a daily basis.”

In terms of canceling inactive memberships, that is not an option on the table.

“I would hope you would use it as you are paying the $19 per month. I do not see us revoking it just because you are not going to the gym,” Thomas said.

“At that point it is the member’s responsibility as to whether they would like to cancel their membership or not.”

Several students shared their concerns about the ARC.

“I do feel the ARC is overcrowded, but it just depends at what time you go,” freshman business administration major Marty Rascon said.

“For the most part it’s really hard to find equipment. People are always using things you want to use and it takes forever to transition to new exercises.”

Senior communications major Logan Lopez agreed.

“The ARC can be overcrowded, especially during the peak hours from 3 to 7 p.m.,” Lopez said. “Unless you are there really early or really late in the evening it can be really overcrowded.”

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1 Comment

One Response to “ARC memberships at all-time high, expansion to be considered”

  1. Benny Cartwright on February 23rd, 2016 11:39 am

    I’ve been a member of the ARC since 1998 when I was first a freshman at SDSU, so I’ve been a member for about 18 years! I continue to utilize this gym, even though its location is not the most convenient for me (I live in Hillcrest and don’t have access to campus parking anymore since I’m no longer a student or staff). But I keep my membership here because I absolutely can not find a better fitness facility in town. Over the years, I’ve started memberships at other gyms like 24 Hour Fitness, small private gyms, and residential complex gyms. None compare to the cleanliness, service, and reliability of the ARC.

    While 18,500 members might be an all time high, we all know that many of those folks don’t utilize the gym or very often. In all the years I’ve been to the ARC, it’s always been crowded at peak times (especially right after “work” in the 5-8 pm hours). But this is true at every gym I’ve been to. It’s just how it is. Ways that I’ve worked around this when I need to come during that time is utilizing the great outdoors and doing runs on the steps outside the gym or other activities while I wait for the equipment I want to free up.

    Also, it’s those inactive members that keep our prices low. With lots of people paying for a service they don’t use, the ARC can provide great service to those who do use it, for a very good price.

    The ARC Express is a great alternative, and I enjoy heading over there, too. Sure, the ARC could be expanded, but in the meantime just know there’s lots of ways to still great a workout and work around the crowds.

    I applaud Associated Students and Aztec Recreation for providing such an amazing facility for students and the community to enjoy!

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