BY Amanda L. Alaniz
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley University Recreation (UREC) made the list of the Top 50 Best Campus Recreation Centers by CollegeConsensus.com.
College and universities that make the list are ranked according to their individual College Consensus score, which is a combination of the results of reputable publisher ratings and student reviews.
The UREC, which ranked 31 on the list, currently sees between 800 to 1,000 students per semester and provides several services ranging from group exercises to aquatics to intramural sports.
The 144,000-square-foot center on the Edinburg campus houses basketball and racquetball courts, fitness centers, an indoor track, an outdoor leisure pool and a 35-foot climbing wall. The Brownsville campus shares the use of the recreation center at Texas Southmost College, and utilizes the Garza Gym and the Duckhead, a park surrounded by water that is shaped like a duck.
Fitness classes, such as Zumba and yoga, are available for students and are at different hours of the day, predominately in the late afternoon and evenings.
Kimberly Rottet, the director for the UREC, said the recognition shows that the staff is focused on maintaining the decade-old building in Edinburg, listening to its patrons and keeping up with fitness trends on both campuses.
“As our student population evolves, we ask ourselves how their needs evolve. And when you have someone come in and tell you you’re doing a good job, it’s a rewarding feeling,” she said.
Rottet said the staff is open to hearing comments and feedback from students at both campuses about what they could be adding or doing differently. The UREC’s overall goal is to ensure both campuses are getting access to similar equipment and equivalent opportunities.
There are already some plans in the works that’ll serve Brownsville and Edinburg campuses such as adding access to personal trainers, a focus on sport clubs and utilizing the untapped resource – the Duckhead. Rottet said they foresee using that area for recreational use, such as patrons learning to camp.
Rottet emphasized that she wants the UREC to be seen as more than “just a building,” she wants the university and the community to know they offer many diverse services and it isn’t only a place to work out.
“Some students come in, go to the second floor to do their homework because they like the building. We’re a place people can come in and work on their own personal wellness, that may not be just physical fitness,” she said.
You can learn more about what is offered at the UREC by visiting the university’s website.