Lots on students’ minds
Crowds during game days overflow parking, shut down recreational facilities three hours before tipoff
Students who have gone to FGCU’s Recreation and Aquatics Center a few hours prior to a men’s home basketball game may notice something: both facilities are closed.
This summer, due to traffic issues with only one street in and one street out, the University held a meeting and decided to close the Recreation Center and the Aquatics Center three hours prior to each home game.
“Because of the parking situation, activities in Recreation and Aquatic Centers will have to be shut down three hours prior to games. For afternoon weekend games, we will open them up two hours after the game starts. We really do not have any control over the situation because the University made the decision, so we had to go along with it.
With traffic issues it made sense. There is only one road in and one road out. Some of these games are during breaks, so it does not affect students as much as it could,” said Amy Swingle, FGCU Campus Recreation director.
Swingle says that the decision was made this summer with University vice presidents, athletic representatives and athletic directors. The meeting included Dr. Brian Fisher from housing, campus police officer Keith Moore, and Billy Blood and Mike Miller from athletics.
“I support the men’s basketball team, but the university should make more parking so that it is not such an inconvenience to students,” said Brian Pruett, a junior communications major. Pruett says that he mainly works out at LA Fitness and only uses the Recreation Center and Aquatics Center occasionally, but has a few suggestions for both students and the university.
“The new hours have not affected me, but I think they should open up earlier in the mornings. If the recreation hours do not work for you, get a membership to another gym. (The) University should either expand our current recreation center or build a new one,” Pruett said.
Students should also be aware that the gym hours have increased since last year due to more money from Student Government, according to Swingle.
“The gym hours for this year have increased last year due to the budget,” Swingle said.
While some students may feel a bit frustrated by the new before-game closures, other students are not bothered by them at all.
“I don’t see why they would have to close three hours before hand, maybe one or two. But I do not think it is much of a big deal. It does not hinder me much at all,” said Becky Pascal, a junior nursing major. Pascal also added that she goes to the gym five days a week, and that she can see why some students may have issues with the closures. “I am sure that with everyone’s different schedule it may bother some. Everyone has different times that work for them,” Pascal said.
Senior marketing major Danilo Capric, who goes to the gym four to five times a week, believes that the new closings will provide game-goers with a more efficient way to get in and out of the arena. He also does not think there is a need for the Recreation or Aquatic Center to be open during games anyway.
“I think it is a better idea because it will get people where they need to go faster. No one will be at either center when there is a game anyway, so there is no point in them staying open.” Capric also added that at Florida State University, where his friend and FGCU alumni, Carlos Rubiano now a medical school student, attends, does the same thing for Seminole games.
“Go to a friend’s house and start getting ready for the game. There are other alternatives,” Capric said.