University officials end extended hours pilot program at Campus Recreation building

Changes include 10 p.m. close time, enforcement of no bags on gym floor policy

Students+entering+the+Recreation+Center+now+have+less+time+to+work+out+after+the+end+of+a+pilot+program+that+extended+the+gym%27s+hours.+Alexis+Hayward+%7C+Contributing+Photographer
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University officials end extended hours pilot program at Campus Recreation building

Students entering the Recreation Center now have less time to work out after the end of a pilot program that extended the gym's hours. Alexis Hayward | Contributing Photographer

Students entering the Recreation Center now have less time to work out after the end of a pilot program that extended the gym's hours. Alexis Hayward | Contributing Photographer

Students entering the Recreation Center now have less time to work out after the end of a pilot program that extended the gym's hours. Alexis Hayward | Contributing Photographer

Students entering the Recreation Center now have less time to work out after the end of a pilot program that extended the gym's hours. Alexis Hayward | Contributing Photographer

Ryan Lynch, Editor in Chief

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University officials are now closing the Recreation and Fitness Center three hours earlier at night, ending a pilot program that let students work out as late as 1 a.m.

According to Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs Corey King, the late hours were a result of a Student Government-led initiative that the Office of Campus Recreation put in place during the 2014-15 school year.

Previously open from 6 a.m. to midnight during the week and until 1 a.m. on Saturdays, the gym now closes at 10 p.m. every night.

The push for the program came after then-Student Government President Kathryn Edmunds spoke to several other student representatives at an American Student Government Association conference about a student request to change the hours.

Edmunds said, “There was a committee [members appointed by the Boca Raton governor position] that comes up with ideas and programs for the Boca Raton Campus Rec who was working on it.”

After testing the hours during the following fall and spring semesters, campus recreation officials decided that there was not enough demand for the extended hours.

“We evaluated our usage numbers and determined that decreasing hours provided the most efficient use of resources,” said Nick Lumpkin, the associate director of operations for Campus Recreation, in an email.

The numbers collected during the study showed that after 9 p.m., the number of people going into the gym decreased from August 2015 to May 6, 2016.

During that period, 23,755 entries were recorded at the gym from 8-9 p.m. Each hour after that, the number of people entering the Rec Center dropped, from 17,801 from 9-10 p.m. to 3,800 entries from 11 p.m. to midnight.

The numbers also show only 193 entries clocked at the gym from 12-1 a.m. during that nine-month period.

For the fiscal years 2015-16 to 2016-17, Campus Recreation lost some of the money in its budget, with its total funds dropping $69,253 to $1,603,076 according to the last two activity and service fee budgets.

Some students believe the change of hours has affected how crowded the gym is at other times. Sophomore business management major Michael Proby, who usually tries to make it to the gym between 8 and 10 p.m., says there are more people than usual in the earlier hours.

“I can make it, it just makes me want to leave early and stuff because you wait too long and by the time you get on the court to play basketball, it’s almost time to close,” he said. “I don’t like it, it closes too early. There’s too many people, you can’t hardly play how you want to and every machine is taken. It’s not spaced out like it used to be.”

Sophomore international business major Danny Ramirez was drawn in by the more spacious gym during the late hours.

“I box, so the studio was free most of the time when you came late,” he said. “It was convenient to the consumer but I guess it makes sense for the workers who are also students. They need to shorten up the hours so they can make it to class and stuff.”

Ramirez, who goes to the Rec Center every day, says his workout schedule changed because of the change in hours.

“Now I try to go a lot earlier,” he said. “Usually I’d try to go around 8 or 9, even 10. Now I try to go [at] 6 or 5.”

In addition to the new gym hours, the Recreation and Fitness Center now enforces a no-gym-bag policy inside workout areas. Kaylyn Koutz and Kaylalea Mendez | Contributing Photographers

In addition to the new gym hours, the Recreation and Fitness Center now enforces a no-gym-bag policy inside workout areas. Kaylyn Koutz and Kaylalea Mendez | Contributing Photographers

Sophomore business management major Thomas Langan agreed with Ramirez, saying, “I’m more of a nightbird and I like to go to the gym much later because of my sleep schedule and how I work. It’s definitely something that’s a bit of an inconvenience that I’ve had to adjust to.”

Along with the adjusted hours, the gym is also enforcing a previous rule that does not allow gym bags within the workout area.

“We are working to enforce this policy to help increase the safety of our patrons and the security of their belongings,” Lumpkin said in an email. “Students are encouraged to secure any items they bring with them in one of our free day-use lockers or may purchase a locker for the semester.”


Cross State Fitness

Here’s how the 12 other state schools compare to Florida Atlantic’s Recreation Center hours

Florida International University: Open until 1 a.m. on weekdays, midnight on weekends

University of Miami: Open until 11 p.m on Monday through Thursday, 10 p.m. on Friday and 9 p.m. on weekends

University of Florida: Open until 1 a.m. on weekdays, 10 p.m. on weekends

Florida State University: Open until 11 p.m. on Monday through Thursday, 10 p.m. on Friday and 9 p.m. on weekends

Florida Polytechnic University: Open until 10 p.m. everyday

Florida A&M University: Open until 8 p.m. on weekdays, closed on weekends

University of Central Florida: Open until midnight on Sunday through Thursday, 10 p.m. on Friday and 9 p.m. on Saturday

University of West Florida: Open until 10 p.m. on Monday through Thursday, 7 p.m. on Friday and 6 p.m. on weekends

University of North Florida: Open until 8 p.m. on weekdays, 4 p.m. on weekends

Florida Gulf Coast University: Open until 8 p.m. on weekdays, 6 p.m. on weekends

New College of Florida: Open until 8 p.m. on weekdays, 5 p.m. on weekends


University of South Florida: Open until midnight on Monday through Thursday, 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, 11 p.m. on SundayRyan Lynch is the editor in chief of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @RyanLynchwriter.