Recreation Center, best tool to keep in shape

Luis Barrio, Staff Reporter

By Luis Barrio

The Prospector

Some students have claimed it “a home away from home.” The Student Recreation Center offers a place for students to get away from the stress and pressures of exams, papers and midterms. The $32-million tri-level facility provides students with multiple options from swimming and rock-climbing to basketball and racquetball.

While some students go once in a while and others have it as an integral part of their routine, the recreation center is there for students at their convenience. Since it is already paid for in their tuition, students don’t have to pay monthly fees to gain entrance and participate in many extracurricular activities.

Walking in, members are instantly greeted by the enormity of the rock-climbing wall available to all. For all the daredevils and cliffhangers, signing up for classes on tutorial rock-climbing is all you need to do to be certified to take on the 39-foot climbing wall. Instructors are always present and watchful to keep a safe environment.

If rock climbing is not your cup of tea, then perhaps the squeaking of shoes on the hard court will catch your attention. Two full-sized basketball courts are on view for all rec center enthusiasts to gander at.

Javier Alvarado, a senior marketing major, who spends most of his time at the recreation center, regularly hoops it up and shoots 3s.

“I go play basketball with some friends. Sometimes I interact with some people, sometimes I just hang out and look at other people workout,” Alvarado said. 

“I think it’s a pretty good place for students to go. For students it’s free, they have a lot of facilities for you to use.” ”

— Javier Alvarado

Running up and down the court surely builds up a sweat, and showers are available to students. If they care to go for a swim, the indoor pools are open, even during the fall semester.

Alvarado commutes to UTEP every day from the far Eastside. He also has a membership at EP Fitness, which he says he would use less if he lived closer to UTEP.

The recreation center has more than 200 machines with an eighth-of-a-mile track circuit at the top level of the center.

If a student is parched or even looking for some protein to refuel, a juice bar is located right next to the weight room on the second floor. Students are constantly walking in and out in their bright-colored attire trying to just stay healthy, with all the activities and intramural programs available.

“I’m here Monday and Wednesday from 10 to 12,” said freshman business major Omar Guerra. “I’m a basketball fan, so I would have to say the basketball courts. I’m really getting into swimming again. I like the pool.”

The recreation center is currently in the process of a $1.2-million upgrade to its multi-purpose field, located at the back parking lot behind the center.

With all the expansions UTEP is going through toward tier-one status.The school is pushing for a more environmentally friendly turf. They are also adding two sand volleyball courts, along with a seating area.

The Student Recreation Center has proven to be a crucial outlet for the students of UTEP.

Luis Barrio may be reached at [email protected]