Upon opening the doors to the renovation and expansion of the University of Nebraska—Lincoln’s Campus Recreation Center in 1992, the operating hours of the facility were 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.
But, after receiving requests from students, faculty and staff to extend the hours, Campus Recreation executives took the requests to the Campus Recreation Advisory Council, which is a group of 13 students and three faculty and staff members. Based on the number and frequency of the requests, the Advisory Council recommended expanding the hours of operation, said Stan Campbell, director of Campus Recreation at the University of Nebraska.
Now, the facility is open Sunday through Monday, 5:45 a.m. to midnight and Friday and Saturday, 5:45 a.m. until 11 p.m.
“I think the extended hours have provided an increased opportunity for our members to exercise. Opening earlier in the day has allowed students to work out prior to going to an early morning class and for faculty and staff members to work out prior to going to their office,” said Campbell. “The extended hours at the end of the day provide increased opportunities for students to work out after attending a night class, or after they finish studying for the day. Faculty, staff and alumni members also have additional time to work out later in the evening.”
Amy Lanham, associate director of recreation facilities planning and operation at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln, also believes that the extended hours are beneficial for the Campus Recreation facility.
“We are able to serve a wide audience of users,” added Lanham. “We have several program offerings which require us to use certain areas of the facility from 5 p.m. until midnight. Having the extra time so that casual, or open recreation patrons still have an opportunity to utilize the space is important.”
Pros — “The benefit of extending the hours of operation is that we are better able to meet the demands of our members,” added Campbell. “To do so required additional funding; however, students believed the additional cost in funding was justified. Therefore, students approved an increase in their student fee to cover the cost of the extended hours.”
Con’s — “The downside is that it has reduced the time our housekeeping staff has to clean the facility when it is not actively being used by our members,” explained Campbell. “ We have had to adapt cleaning schedules, but that was accomplished with minimal difficulty. It has also required student employees to arrive earlier and depart later. However, we have not had difficulty filling the early morning or late evening shifts.”