Auburn University’s Recreation and Wellness Center has enacted several additional cleaning and safeguard measures this fall to ensure the safety of its patrons amid the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic.
“One of our main goals has always been to have a very clean and safe building,” said Jennifer Jarvis, executive director of Campus Recreation at Auburn, noting that this semester her staff has furthered that effort with even greater ongoing cleaning. “We have an amazing staff, and they’re just doing a great job. We are wiping down handrails, elevator buttons, touch points, all day long. So, I feel very comfortable with what we’re doing. This building is safe, and it’s clean.”
Jarvis said there are more than 30 sanitation wipe stations located throughout the center, and equipment is frequently being wiped down by workers.
“We are cleaning constantly,” she said, adding that equipment also has been spaced further out in workout areas and in fitness classes to allow for social distancing. “We’re doing the same thing at the pool where we separate our chairs.”
For cleaning equipment on the main floors, the center has a cone rotation that helps workers block off certain machinery at intervals for deep cleaning. The center also employs the use of an electrostatic misting machine to conduct a very thorough cleaning of equipment.
“We’re actually using a special 360 Clorox machine that sanitizes the entire building every night,” Jarvis said. “I can assure you we are doing everything we could possibly do to make sure this facility is safe. For instance, we have spaced all of our strength equipment apart. We have rotated our cardio equipment in different locations so that we can spread it out, and then we do a deep clean very often.”
The Recreation and Wellness Center is located to the side of Auburn Arena and provides 240,000 square feet of recreation space for Auburn students, faculty and staff. The center includes two 50-foot climbing towers, a 1/3-mile corkscrew track and a 200,000-gallon leisure pool. Intramural and club sports, personal training, group fitness and wellness programs are also offered. Although the center’s basketball courts are currently not in use and some workout equipment has been taped off and moved away from public access to allow for greater spacing amid COVID-19, most of the center’s main offerings—to include the swimming pool—are available.
Jarvis said another great thing about the Recreation and Wellness Center’s offerings is that there are outdoor opportunities as well.
“If you really just want to stay outdoors, you can come down to Auburn Outdoors and we’ll help you plan a trip, or we’ll rent you a kayak, a canoe, whatever,” she said. “We’ll help you fix your bike. We’ll show you how to fix your bike. You can come to the swimming pool and lay out or study down there. You can go out to the Sportsplex and walk the trail. So, there’s a lot of other things to do besides just coming indoors if you don’t feel comfortable. But, again, I feel really comfortable with anyone coming in this facility because it is clean and it is safe, and it’s certainly welcoming.”
On any given day, visitors to the facility can expect to receive a warm greeting at the front door from a smiling worker who also wishes you a great day upon your departure.
“What I would like our students to know is you are going to get an amazing welcome when you come here, and some of them are not seeing a lot of folks [amid COVID-19],” Jarvis said. ”So, when they come in here we are going to make them realize how glad we are they’re here.”
Looking ahead, Jarvis said there’s even more to be excited about in the way of Auburn’s recreation offerings.
“One thing we’re extremely excited about here at Campus Rec is a new Sportsplex that’s coming online, and we’re just excited for our students to be able to get out there,” she said, referring to the 30-acre complex off Lem Morrison Drive. “Here at Campus Rec, we feel like the glass is almost full. We’re going to get there, and I challenge our staff every day to think of ways that we can get our students involved and we can get them where they feel connected here at Auburn. And we’re going to do everything we can to make sure we’re doing that here at Campus Rec.”
For more information about Auburn’s Recreation and Wellness Center and its latest COVID-19 safeguard measures, go to campusrec.auburn.edu.