MizzouRec starts off the semester with improvements, renovations

More than 30 new cardio machines and 96 new lockers are available for use at the Jungle Gym.

As waves of students return from winter break, more than 32,000 are anticipated to work out at the MU Student Recreation Complex in the first week alone.

This year’s attendance is estimated to have a 10 percent increase over last year’s 29,914 students who used MizzouRec within the first week, spokeswoman Jennifer Seris said in an email.

Many of these students may notice some changes when returning to the complex this semester, as the facility underwent a series of improvements and maintenance projects over the break. MizzouRec closed its doors for two weeks from Dec. 21 - Jan. 3 to complete the various improvements.

All hardwood flooring in the complex — in ten basketball courts, five racquet sport courts and three TigerX studios — have been stripped, branded and refinished, Associate Director of Membership Emily Bach said.

The newly resurfaced basketball court floors were among the first things that impressed freshman Spencer Tompkins.

“They were really plain and slippery (before), and now they (have more) grip,” he said.

Bach said the preventative maintenance will help maintain the integrity of the floors.

“The (resurfacing and resealing) make a safer play surface and activities surface by keeping the courts in good condition,” she said.

Junior Lee Banov said the improved floors give the courts a more professional feel.

“The new paint job on the basketball courts is really cool and gives the courts the look of a real stadium,” he said.

New flooring was also installed at the Jungle Gym, Brewer Fieldhouse and the Legends room.

Twenty new rims were installed on the basketball courts as well, Bach said.

“The rims are a lot better, too,” Tompkins said. “Some of the older rims were getting bent from people dunking on them, and now they’re a lot cleaner and newer.”

Additional improvements, such as 96 new lockers large enough for storing backpacks, were made to the Jungle Gym, Bach said.

“The new lockers in the Jungle Gym, which (are) a big bonus for our users, are going to be a more secure location in the jungle gym,” she said. “If items are left unsecured, we will be picking them up and taking them away from that space because the intent is not to create more surfaces for students to put items that are unsecured.”

More than 30 pieces of new, additional equipment — including elliptical machines, bikes, TreadClimbers and WoodWay Curves — were installed in the cardio area of the Jungle Gym, Bach said.

Although these new machines may benefit some users, freshman James Packard said he was concerned about the reduction in space available within the Jungle Gym.

“There are some elliptical machines that now (cut) into the machine area,” he said. “I’m not sure I like that so much because it makes the machines much closer and cuts down on the space at the machines.”

Increasing accessibility and security at the west entrance of the facility was another focus of the winter break renovations, Bach said. The west entrance is the side adjacent to Stankowski Field.

“That location is now focused on member-only access,” Bach said. “Individuals who come to the west desk will need to have active membership with their credentials. If they don’t have the appropriate credentials, we cannot let them access the facility from that side.”

The Rothwell Club also saw major renovations, which includes 40 additional lockers, TV reinstallation, new quartz benches, countertops, sinks and fixtures.

At Truman’s Pond, a new retaining wall, sidewalk and fencing were installed, and tiles near the 50-meter pool were repaired or replaced.

New athletic branding in the Mizzou Aquatic Center is still in the process of being installed, Bach said.

The upgrades will have no impact on student fees and will hopefully enhance students’ workouts at the MizzouRec, Bach said.

“We’re always striving to enhance the student experience on campus, and hopefully with the preventative maintenance and new projects we have done, we are doing that,” she said.

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