Daniel Ebmeter–Staff Writer
Since the time it was built in 1997, the Recreation Center has provided a year-round fitness facility for both Dordt students and community members.
The Recreation (Rec) Center accommodates five different demographics, according to Jeff Zomer, facility director and head coach of women’s softball. The top priority is student-athletics, with intramural sports being second, and students, members, and the general public following at third.
The Rec Center is reserved from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. by college athletic teams most days. This often makes the center congested, especially for community members who want to work out without interfering with team practices.
Kim Van Es, a Northwestern adjunct English professor, said certain sports teams are more considerate than others. Some stretch on the track when she is trying to use it. Marian Smit, another member of the Rec Center, said it gets crowded once the football players come.
Sharing the facilities can be a challenge. Student-athletes come first, leaving community members to use whatever space they can find to work out.
If the Rec Center was not here, several members said they would go to Snap Fitness located on the south side of the city. Mike Kooistra said that walking in the mall for exercise would be another option. Either way, she does not like walking outside in the dark.
Karlowe Moerman, a regular at the Rec Center, said that he chose to work out at this facility back when he was young because it was the only place available at the time. Its family-friendly atmosphere and the top-notch facility were also big selling points. But the Rec Center does have a downside.
“I’m only able to gain access between 6 a.m. and 12 a.m. with card access,” he said, noting that he misses 24-hour access.
Community members continue paying the fee to use the Rec Center for various reasons, including convenience, cost, and considerate coaches who try to accommodate to walkers.
Although Dordt’s Rec Center faces challenges with limited space and busy practice schedules, it does all it can to provide a useful facility for community members and students alike.