ARC expands capacity levels, lifts cardio reservations

By Ethan Simmons

After more than two weeks where UI students were limited to “essential activities only,” campus recreation is loosening some of its previous restrictions.

At the Activities and Recreation Center, patrons can now exercise at the building’s cardio levels — including the upstairs track — without making a reservation. Maximum capacity has been lifted to 270 people at a time, and locker rooms are open for the first time since the fall semester, according to the most recent announcement on the ARC’s website.

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Once the campus directive ended Monday, it was unclear whether the ARC would immediately modify its reservation system, which has been a lightning rod of criticism for the student body. Students bemoaned days-long back-ups for certain gym areas, along with last-minute cancellations or no-shows for reserved spots.

Online reservations are still required for the lifting area in the basement, along with the climbing wall, indoor pool, basketball and badminton gyms and racquetball/squash courts. Like always, students, faculty and staff must display “Building Access Granted” status through their Safer Illinois app to exercise in the facility.

Campus Rec posts live facility counts on its website.

The ARC still posts live occupancy counts on its website, sorted by each individual exercise area. All regulations for campus recreation are made from guidance between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Illinois Department of Public Health, Champaign-Urbana Public Health and the UI system.

Campus Recreation Center East, or CRCE, will remain closed for the semester to serve as a campus COVID-19 testing site.