Reily Center Overhaul

September 1, 1997

Judith Zwolak

We patched, painted, refinished, regrouted, retiled, reupholstered and reconfigured," says Missie McGuire of the August overhaul of the Reily Student Recreation Center. "It was the most ambitious August closure we've ever had."

Each August, the Reily Center closes for one week for maintenance and cleaning, says McGuire, director of recreational facilities and conference services in the campus recreation department. This year, in addition to the regularly scheduled activities, the center staff undertook more extensive projects, such as adding new exercise equipment, redesigning the smoothie bar area and hanging televisions in the weight room.

"This facility looks better now than when we opened in 1989," says Bill Canning, associate vice president of auxiliary services and campus recreation. Some of the cosmetic changes to the center include refinishing 35,000 square feet of hardwood floors, reupholstering all of the furniture in the atrium area and draining, cleaning, regrouting and retiling the indoor 50-meter Olympic-sized swimming pool.

"We gave the pool a good acid wash bath," McGuire says. "It was only the second time in the nine years that the facility has been open that the pool has been drained. That's 650,000 gallons of water."
For those who like to grab a quick bite to eat after working out, the center staff retiled the area around the smoothie bar in the atrium and added tables and chairs to create a "food court" atmosphere, she adds. The center is also in the process of adding $35,000 worth of new exercise equipment. The staff installed the first piece, an elliptical cross trainer, in mid-August.

The center now has two of these devices. "It's a hot, new cross training device that combines the best of NordicTrack and Stairmaster," McGuire says. "It supports elliptical movement, which is a lot less difficult on the knees and hips and joints." Other new equipment includes new recumbent and upright bicycles and upgraded Stairmasters. "We added the new 4400 model for those diehard Stairmaster fans," McGuire says. "It's a free-climber and it's a little more difficult because it doesn't allow you to support your weight when you're using it."

Both Canning and McGuire credit the student employees of the center for this August's accomplishments. Led by the center's general maintenance supervisors Santo Marinello and Avian Washington, students performed most of the work during the closure.

"It would never have been possible without the 23 student staff members who pitched in this August," McGuire says. "The students also rewired the weight room to disburse the sound from the stereo," she says. "We've always had problems with the sound in that room. It was either too soft or people found it offensive because it was too loud. It was never really properly wired. Now the sound will be terrific."

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