It has been two years since Ithaca College’s Athletics and Events Center was first opened to the student body, and during that time many students have shared one opinion.
“I don’t know why we have that building; it’s only for athletes.”
The perception is that there is not time available for non-varsity athletes to use the A&E Center’s facilities. But when I spoke with Jeff Falardeau, assistant director of intercollegiate athletics and the scheduling supervisor for the A&E Center, he said that perception is not the reality.
“If anything, during this time of year between Block I and Block II of the semester, it’s dominated by non-athletic groups,” Falardeau said.
Falardeau said he blocks off times so members of the student body can use the facilities. The indoor track at Glazer Arena, for example, is open for walkers and joggers from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the week. The indoor pool has more than eight hours a day scheduled for open swim time, and the Wheeler Tennis Courts have been made available to students this year every Monday through Thursday from 8–10 p.m. The strength and conditioning weight room is also available whenever the varsity teams are not occupying it.
Students can find daily open times by checking the schedule at the A&E Center’s front desk or by going to the Bombers’ athletic website and clicking the link on the right side of the front page.
When asked why students hold this negative impression of the A&E Center’s availability, Falardeau cited the building’s separation from the rest of campus.
“A challenge is where the building is located,” he said. “People don’t want to walk over here.”
Another issue has been finding ways to break through the clutter to let students know about the A&E Center’s open hours. Falardeau said he and his predecessor, Jon Gregory, have both tried to publicize the A&E Center’s availability through Intercom and emails, but many students tend to delete those messages without reading them.
Having used the strength and conditioning room several times myself, I can say that it’s a terrific space to do more serious lifting workouts. Of course, the room differs from the Fitness Center workout experience, where one can plug in a pair of headphones and casually run on the treadmill for an hour. Nonetheless, the general student body is not using this space enough.
Seeing as the building came with a $65.5 million price tag, students may as well try to maximize its value as much as they can.