Barnes Center at The Arch reopens with saftey measures

Barnes Center at The Arch reopens with saftey measures

With a new reservation system and safety protocols, SU students are hitting the gym again.
Published: September 14, 2020
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The east side entrance to the Barnes Center at Syracuse University.

In the midst of a global pandemic, working out at the gym may not be on the top of everyone’s priority list.

But with Syracuse University students, faculty and staff returning to campus this fall, the Barnes Center at The Arch has reopened its doors with new safety guidelines and procedures.

The main new feature is a reservation system which allows the Barnes Center to monitor the number of patrons inside the facility at a given time. Patrons must register for the weight room and cardio areas on the Wellness Portal for the designated time they plan to be there, said Shannon Andre, communications manager at the Barnes Center.

Registration for the 90-minute reservation blocks open on the portal six hours before and fill up fast. At the facility, all patrons and staff have to check-in and check-out with their SUID card to monitor their time spent at Barnes. Between reservation blocks, the activity areas are cleared of all patrons to allow for cleaning.

“For me, [the reservation process] has been pretty easy because my classes are early, so I’m able to get a head start on the reservations,” freshman Sydney Miller said. “Some people say they’re not able to get one, but for me, it’s been pretty easy.”

Some students have even found the reservation system motivating as it encourages them to stick to a regular schedule and commit to working out.

“I actually don’t mind the reservation system because it makes sure that I go,” junior Tanner Peck said. “If I have the reservation, I don’t want to waste it, so I actually see that as kind of a good thing.”

Each space in the facility has a maximum number of reservations based on the size of the space and equipment available, said Andre. In addition to the reservation system, students are required to wear masks at all times, except while swimming, and social distance with other patrons.

he exercise equipment is placed six feet apart to enforce social distancing.
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Although wearing a mask has been challenging when working out for some students, most recognize the importance of following the protocols.

“Any cardio can get pretty tough with the mask on,” sophomore Chase Connolly said. “But again, it’s just a necessary precaution. Everybody keeps [their mask] over the nose and everything.”

According to their website, Barnes Center staff will “deep clean recreation equipment three times per day using gloves, cleaning towels and disinfectant spray bottles.”

In addition to staff responsibilities, students are required to wipe down any equipment both before and after use with disinfectant wipes stationed throughout the gym. Hand sanitizer stations are also readily available throughout the gym. While the pool, e-sports center and climbing wall remain open, other facilities in the gym like the basketball court are closed.

“I feel like Syracuse has done a really good job of keeping everyone safe,” Connolly said. “They’re buying tons of hand sanitizer. It’s everywhere,” he said. “Everything’s been really safe, wiping down after use and everything. I think it’s been pretty good here.”

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Signs are placed throughout the facility reminding patrons to clean equipment.

Employees at the Barnes Center at Syracuse University clean and sanitize the exercise equipment.

Employees at the Barnes Center clean and sanitize the exercise equipment.