Good news! Your days of fighting over treadmills and balance balls at the crowded NCRB and CCRB should now be over (or so we hope). The newly renovated Intramural Sports Building (IMSB) reopened two weeks ago after a 15-month closure. I checked it out—in case you haven’t yet—by attending a “soft-opening” of the building on Sept. 29.
I’m not sure how anyone else scored an invite to this exclusive event—I just asked via email—but it seemed like anyone passing by could gain entry. Once inside, however, we were met by a wall of staff. A whole slew of eager, enthusiastic, athletic people wearing brand new Block-M Nike polo shirts were there asking us how we were doing and if we were ready to workout. An avid weightlifter, I was salivating for a chance to try the new equipment. But, alas, I was there to interview others, so politely pushed past them to survey the space.
I have to say, I was immediately impressed. The building has wide, open rooms. Everything is new: basketball hoops, cardio machines, locker rooms, racquetball courts. It even has that new building smell (though probably not for long). I’d say the best part—which separates it from the rest of the campus gyms—is the amount of lounge space. You don’t even have to exercise to hang out at this rec center. It has flat-screen TVs where you can play video games, comfy furniture for studying (or snoozing), and even an arcade game or two.
Here’s what a random sampling of my fellow students thought:
Danny Cayo: Junior
“A lot more space than the CCRB, more windows. I wonder what it’s going to be like when more people show up, but… it’s really nice right now. Nice clips for the bars, better than the CCRB. Also, the decline benches. Those are dope. Didn’t have those at the CCRB!”
Whitney Sharp: School of Public Health Graduate Student
“This is definitely an awesome space for students to come workout and lounge. It really has a different feel than any other building. I’m going to be teaching here, so it’s really exciting to have these big, open spaces with natural lighting. Also, functional training rooms for people who may not be that comfortable working out in the main area. There are separate rooms to work out in. Little bummed there’s not a pool! Other than that, though, I think they have everything you could want in a rec center.”
Josh Mandilk: Senior
“This is great. Honestly, I toured it last Wednesday with some fitness attendants, and it’s really nice. There’s a lot of great new equipment, everything’s fresh, new, and shiny. There’s so much stuff I want to try out. Like this one machine…I don’t know what it is called. It’s got all these different cable attachments, it’s got a rope system, all kinds of cool stuff. I don’t know. It was getting bolted down while I was here last week, so I’m going to check it out.”
Kiersten (declined to give her last name): Senior
“I love the open floor plan. And I really like that you can do Olympic lifts. I’m a little bit underwhelmed though about the cardio machines – I thought that there’d be more of them.”
Andrew (also declined to give his last name): Junior
“Yeah, like she said, the open floor plan is a huge difference from the CCRB. You know, here you’ve got three squat racks next to each other, while at the CCRB it would be six all crammed in next to each other. I’m just getting used to having this space between machines.”
As I was leaving, I was asked to fill out a survey on one of several touch tablets. I played along, though I hadn’t worked out. Was I satisfied with the new equipment? (Sure!) What was my favorite part? (The bubble hockey arcade game!) Do I normally work out? (Why yes I do, thank you very much!) Do you plan on coming back? (For sure, for the bubble hockey and much more!)
David Newman is a junior acting major in the the School of Music, Theatre & Dance.