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Climbing to new heights at UTEP Recreation Center

Gianluca Cuevas
UTEP Recreation center has two basketball courts for students to utilize in their free time.

The UTEP recreation center is the recommended place for UTEP students to work out, especially with the busy lives that come along with being a college student. With the rec center being included in student fees, freshmen have free resources to stay fit all semester long.   Located at 3450 Sun Bowl Drive, UTEP’s rec serves as a welcoming place for those looking to maintain an active lifestyle. 

The rec center has seen significant improvements after a fee increase approved by the UTEP student body in 2006. The renovations were completed in 2011 and included a rock-climbing wall, new basketball courts, and a multi-story fitness area, all added onto the original facility that was built in 1996. 

Walking into the rec, the first thing students will notice is the rock wall and the open space. Students must scan their UTEP identification card to get into the recreation center, and if they forget their ID, a staff member can get their ID number.   

The entrance to the rec puts students on the second floor of the building. Going downstairs, students can check out basketballs, volleyballs and other equipment for use. The first floor is where students can find the rock-climbing wall and the basketball courts. Locker rooms are also available on this floor for students to lock up personal items for the day. 

Returning to the second floor, students can find free weights. This 6,500-square-foot area contains high-quality equipment to cater to student workout needs. Dumbbells and plates of a variety of weights make this area a welcome space for beginners who want to get started lifting or those who want to continue their physical health journey. 

The pools, both competitive and recreational, are down a long corridor to the other side of the building. The competitive pool has a 13-foot depth, which is a recommended depth for diving. The recreational pool is shallower with a maximum depth of four feet. The recreational pool also features an area for basketball and volleyball. Students who want to use the rec pool must bring their own towels as the rec does not offer towels for students.  

Returning to the main area and going to the third floor, students will find more gym equipment. Weight machines, stationary bicycles, treadmills and steppers are all provided on this floor. Some rec-goers say the most important aspect of the third floor is the indoor track, that measures in at an eighth of a mile.  

Although the extensive facilities available in the rec are important, they only portray one part of what the rec has to offer. There are numerous classes to take throughout the semester, including dance, jujitsu, bachata, and Zumba.  

Not only is the rec a great place to work out, but it can also open doors to different opportunities, as it did for student employee Aaron Castro.  

“Since I majored in kinesiology, I wanted a job that had sports involved in it,” Castro said. 

Castro was inspired by PE teachers to take both his major and his position at the rec. “It’s really what inspired me to be here (the rec), it’s a really fun and friendly environment where I can surround myself with what I want to become, a person around sports,” Castro said.  

For students who may be considering another gym to work out, Castro says that an important factor to consider is the rec’s facilities and trips.  

“It’s honestly way more worth it than for me to go to an EP Fitness or an Elev8 Gym and all those gyms because there’s a lot more than just working out, it’s a place for leisure time and just to chill out,” Castro said. 

Although the trips do require a separate fee from what is included in tuition, it is still worth it compared to going somewhere else, as the facilities speak for themselves, and the rec continues to play an important role in the physical health of the UTEP community.  

Nicholas Maes is the sports editor may be reached at [email protected]

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About the Contributors
Nicholas Maes, Sports Editor
Nicholas Maes is a sports editor at The Prospector. He is a senior majoring in history with a minor in commercial music. He plans to continue his academic career in history after earning his bachelor's degree.
Gianluca Cuevas, Photographer
Gianluca Cuevas is a staff photographer for The Prospector. He is a senior majoring in mechanical engineering with a minor in mathematics. He plans to work in the automotive industry designing cars/mechanic in the F1. He also has his small photography business 365elements which he plans to continue to grow.
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