New rec centre welcomes first visitors

The spin bikes are humming, the treadmills are buzzing and the weights are clanging.


  Hundreds of students were on hand for the opening of the Western Student Recreation Centre Monday, some of whom took advantage of the cardio machines that overlook campus.


It can mean only one thing – the Western Student Recreation Centre is off and running.


With a line up greeting staff Monday morning at the opening of the much-anticipated $35-million facility, students, staff and faculty are already sweating away their recently gained holiday pounds.


The facility is being funded largely by Western’s students although the university also contributed to the cost.


For Gabriel Sin, the new facility brings with it an energy he says is hard to explain.


“It like heaven and hell compared to the old UCC facilities,” says the third-year BMOS student. “The use of space, the natural light – it’s much better than what we’ve had the last few years. From the new equipment, the TV screens and the wide-open areas, it was well worth the wait.”


Shawn McKerlie agrees. The second-year Sociology student wrapped up his first game of squash in the new facility and has nothing but praise for what he sees.


“You can’t even compare it,” says McKerlie, when measuring it against the old facilities in UCC. “It’s so much easier to access everything. There’s so much here I haven’t even had a chance to see it all.”


As the centre comes up to speed it will be open today (11:30 a.m.-7 p.m.) and Friday (11:30 a.m.-3 p.m.), with access to the weight and cardio equipment in the fitness centre and the gym and squash courts.


Closed for staff training over the weekend, the recreation centre re-opens Jan. 12 with normal operating hours: Monday to Thursday – 6 a.m. to midnight; Friday – 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday – 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday- 8 a.m. to midnight.


The 50-metre swimming pool is slated to be complete in the first week of February. A few other areas, including miscellaneous classroom space, are also in the final stages. As a result of this ongoing construction, some areas may not be accessible at all times.


For Health Sciences Dean Jim Weese, seeing the enthusiasm of the first-day and hearing the immediate feedback made the wait worthwhile.


“This has to be one of the finest recreation centres in the country,” says Weese. “This just adds to best student experience and it will be a facility that will serve this campus, and serve it well, for years to come.”


Visit for further details on the programming and membership information at the new Western Student Recreation Centre.