Eastern Michigan University Rec/IM expands hours

On Jan. 6, the Rec/IM increased its hours on Mondays-Thursdays in an effort to get students and faculty who might not have worked out because of night classes to show up.

The expanded hours on Mondays-Thursdays are now 6:30 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. compared to the fall semester when it opened as usual, but closed down two hours early.

“The students have been asking for a long time to have the Rec open later,” EMU Rec/IM Associate Director of Facility Operations Lou Gianino said. “There were students who have had evening classes and would complain that the facility would be closed by the time their classes have ended.”

EMU senior Brooke Nemchak loves the expanded hours at the Rec/IM.

“The expanded hours have been great; I used to not be able to go because I had work after class, but now I can go when I get out of work,” Nemchak said.

At the end of fall semester, Gianino decided to increase the hours of operation, but managed to not spend any extra money in the process.

“We’re not spending any more money, we’re just redirecting where our funds are going,” Gianino said. “We’ve technically closed down the lake house for winter. In the past, we would have someone there from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and 30 percent of the time, students used it. The other 70 percent of the time, we would pay someone else and no one would be there. We decided to use the money from the lake house and utilize it to keep the Rec/IM open longer.”

Gianino also noted that if anybody wants to use the lake house, they can still use it, but will be charged $12/hour and the Rec/IM can send a staff member out to open the place and monitor the group in the process.

The increased hours is seen by Gianino as an opportunity for students to get more out of their funds.

“We feel that the students are getting more out of their funds with the increased hours as opposed to using it on the lake house when few people used it,” Gianino said. “We’re taking care of everyone with the new hours. When we counted the people leaving after 10 p.m., we have averaged roughly 200.”

When asked about whether or not the Rec/IM will be able to financially keep its current hours for the beginning of the next school year, Gianino said that it is a wait-and-see approach.

“I don’t know if we need to, but I would like to do it again,” Gianino said. “We haven’t made up our minds yet, but I know our students would probably want to keep the current hours intact.”

Funding from the board of regents for the next school year will play a critical part as to whether or not the facility can operate in its current schedule.

“Last year, we spent about $320,000 in student help and we got $170,000 from the university,” Gianino said. “We get $50,000 from work study. We’ve been able to generate the rest of the money from overnight rentals and swim clubs at night. Next year, we’re asking for $350,000 because we have to accommodate for the extra staff we have at the new back entrance.”

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