The Aebersold Student Recreation Center, more commonly known on campus as the ARC, has been a fixture of campus recreation at SRU since it was first constructed in 2000. Since the start of the spring 2017 semester, an average of nearly 10,000 students per week have been using the plethora of facilities and programs the ARC has to offer.
Brian Mortimer is the associate director of campus recreation at Slippery Rock, a position he assumed just last December. Prior to holding this position, Mortimer worked as the assistant director of the fitness facility since it first opened in 1999.
“We look to offer each student at Slippery Rock a specialized approach to their desired form of recreation,” Mortimer said. “We employ around 150 student workers that can assist you with reaching fitness goals you may have set out for yourself. There’s someone there every hour, every minute, every second of the day to answer questions and help you succeed.”
Student workers work around 10 hours per week in various areas, from the welcome area and fitness center to the aquatics station and supervisory positions over intramural sports on campus.
The ARC also offers fitness programming, which Mortimer and other ARC staff members hope to see grow as more students take advantage of what it has to offer towards meeting their recreation goals.
“Fitness Programming is designed to help students who might be a little intimidated by the traditional gym environment,” Mortimer said. “Some students aren’t aware of how to use gym equipment properly in order to lose weight or build muscle, and this program helps steer them in the right direction toward getting the most of what the ARC has to offer. It’s a free service that I hope to see more students take advantage of in the future.”
Other recreational activities offered include intramural and club sports, safety certification for CPR and lifeguard training and group fitness activities. Over 500 students a week engage in the group fitness program, encompassing a wide variety of 40 classes that includes aquatics, spinning and dance workout classes like hip-hop abs.
The ARC is currently in the second year of a five-year replacement plan. The goal is to update the equipment in the fitness center and other areas of the campus to increase productivity.
“We received $400,000 from the university last spring that we used to purchase new spin-bikes to replace the older models,” Mortimer said. “At the conclusion of the spring semester this year, we will now replace the up-right bicycles and ellipticals with updated versions.”
Mortimer hopes that the incoming freshman class gets to see early on everything the ARC has to offer.
“I would like to see more FYRST seminar classes stop by the ARC and tour the facility,” Mortimer said. “I know there is a lot on campus they have to cover, but I think it’s important that incoming students are aware of the recreational options they have at SRU.”