Standing at 228,261 square feet, the SURC is one of the largest buildings on campus. Built 12 years ago in 2006, this structure is currently the hub of student life at CWU.
According to Indoor Operations and Camps Coordinator Alex Lee, the Recreation Center was last renovated in 2014 and has first-rate facilities and services that all students should be taking advantage of.
The Recreation Center has an indoor track on the second floor, four basketball courts that can be equipped to support badminton, volleyball and pickleball, a 50-foot indoor rock climbing wall, a weight room, and strength training and cardio fitness areas including two group fitness studios.
Additionally, the Recreation Center provides students with activities such as intramural sports, river rafting and a ski and snowboard shuttle up to the summit at Snoqualmie every Tuesday afternoon and evening during the winter season. Students also have the option of getting a personal trainer that provides guidance and assistance in individual, small group and team environments.
In addition to the Recreation Center at the SURC, the newly constructed Recreation Sports Complex (RSC) will be opening on Friday, Nov. 9 on the north side of campus. The RSC will give students a state-of-the art facility that will be accessible via their memberships. The Recreation Center also runs events throughout the year. This year, they have had a brunch 5K run, archery tag and the Cranksgiving bouldering competition.
Junior Jack Tonzi was attracted to the Recreation Center because of his love of weight lifting. He started to lift weights in high school to lose weight and kept going with it once he arrived here at CWU.
“I spend most of my time in the weight room, but I like to come out here [on the basketball courts] to get some cardio done,” Tonzi said.
Peak hours for the Recreation Center are from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, since that’s the end of the school day for most students. Lee mentions that maintaining this facility is a full-time job.
“It’s a lot of coordinated effort to be honest with you. We have floor staff students who work in our weight room, in our cardio deck; they clean all the equipment, make sure everything is cleaned up, presentable and is in good working order for our students,” Lee said.
According to Lee, the membership desk up front makes sure that students have all their equipment needs fulfilled. He added that the CWU custodians do an excellent job of keeping the facility in good, clean working order. He also mentioned that they have an outside company named Columbia Fitness that comes in to check and fix all pieces of equipment to make sure they are working properly.
“For the most part, it’s students in here, mostly students keeping our building going,” Lee said. “I like to say they are the day-to-day operators of our facility.”
Lee expressed that the students are the driving force of the SURC. The SURC employs anywhere from 150 to 160 students at any given time. The students are the backbone of the facility and strive to give their peers the best possible service.
One of the students that works behind the scenes is senior Trista Drake Jones. Jones was hired back in 2014 after she heard about the job from her sister who worked at the Recreation Center.
Jones mentioned that at that time they were short staffed, and so they had her bring in her resume for an interview which led to her getting hired as a member of the floor staff. Jones would move up over the years until she got to her current position as operations manager.
Jones explained that the working hours for students are very flexible and that if you need to study or cram for an exam, it’s easy to put your shift up and a fellow coworker can take it over.
Jones stated that her job at the Recreation Center has been the biggest influence in her college career. She originally attended CWU to study chemistry, but decided that she didn’t want to do that anymore.
“I changed my degree to recreation management and I come to work every day happy to be here,” Jones said.
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