An easier transportation alternative, earlier opening times and flexible joining options are among the many new patron-friendly policies introduced by the Campus Recreation Center.
The changes come after a thorough review of policies by Campus Rec staff that began this past summer and from recommendations made by members and non-members, says Jeff Corley, associate director of the facility.
|The Campus Rec Center has gone to great lengths to accommodate its members and their families. An extended-hours policy has been implemented as well as a KidsZone, a free, on-site place for children 2 and older to go while their parents make use of the facility’s top-of-the-line workout equipment.
"We wanted to know if there were some adjustments we could make to make the Rec Center more available and appealing to our employees," Corley says.
One of the changes earlier this year enabled employees to use Campus Ride to get to the facility during work hours.
The positive feedback to this new policy has been tremendous, says Jennifer Babl, assistant director of marketing with the Campus Rec Center.
"A lack of parking at the facility was probably our No. 1 complaint from employees," Babl says. "Now, employees can get a lift to the Rec Center for a workout during the day without the hardship of driving and parking. It's been a hit so far; the drivers tell me that they've been dropping people off all day."
More than 3,200 people are members of the center, not including UAB students. Other changes include:
- Sign a 12-month contract ($360) before June 30 and get an additional three months free.
- Sign a three-month contract ($120) and employees have the option of going month-to-month after that ($40 per month for employees, $30 per month for employee family member).
- Extended hours for dependent usage, including allowing children as young as 2 to enter the KidsZone.
- Relaxed dress code enables patrons to wear tank tops throughout the building.
- The center now opens at 5 a.m. Monday through Friday.
Extending hours for dependent use has been another area important to members, says Stacey Prentice, assistant director of campus recreation for member services.
"Many of our families that come in on the weekend had children younger than our previous age limit of 4, which created some problems," Prentice says. "We had many families with one child that was the right age but had younger siblings that we couldn't accommodate. We thought that policy wasn't as family-friendly as it needed to be, so we changed it so that children of all ages can have access to the facility with their parents' supervision and children 2 and older can have access to the KidsZone."
The KidsZone features a desk for children to do homework and another smaller desk for younger children to color. It also has a DVD player for movies and games. One staff member supervises the room when children are present as a free service.
Dependent hours also were extended as part of the policy change. They are now 3 to 9 p.m. Friday and all hours of operation Saturday and Sunday. Children also are allowed access to the facility during holidays and the summer. "We think this will be a great way to get more kids involved in our facility at an early age," Corley says.
The earlier operating hours also enable the facility to better serve employees, Corley says.
The change to a 5 a.m. opening time Monday through Friday was implemented largely by request of hospital employees who said they would be more inclined to use the facility if it opened earlier.
"Many of their shifts start at 7 a.m., and when we opened at 5:30 a.m., their feedback was that it wasn't enough time for them to get a workout in, get a shower and get to their workstation," Corley says. "They said opening up a half hour earlier would make a big difference. We've only been doing it since April 1, but we're starting to see a number of people come in at 5 a.m. We expect that it will increase as more people know about it."
For more information, visit www.uab.edu/campusreccenter or call 996-5038.