As campus prepares for the return of faculty, students and staff for the fall semester, the staff at the Recreation and Wellness Center is working to ensure a safe environment during the COVID-19 era.
The UCF Recreation and Wellness Center and RWC @ Downtown will reopen for students starting Aug. 21. The RWC will continue to offer programming through its RWC+ virtual platform, as well.
Each facility will have limited hours for students and paying members to work out and will feature new safety and check-in procedures to help comply with COVID-19 guidelines at UCF. Paying members at the RWC can opt back into their memberships starting Aug. 24.
Scott Mauro ’94 ’19MA, marketing and communications manager at the RWC, says the staff has attended trainings to properly and safely welcome back students.
“We’re taking every precaution as we look to reopen, and everything we’re doing is to protect the health of our students and staff,” says Mauro. “I know that it’s going to take time and patience to adjust to our new way of operating, but every system we have in place is meant to optimize student, staff, and member safety. It’s important to our team to give our users that peace of mind.”
“We’ve been looking at best practices in the campus recreation field as well as adhering to university guidelines to keep everyone safe.”
Mauro also stresses that the UCF RWC does not fall into the same category as for-profit gyms open to the public.
“We’ve been looking at best practices in the campus recreation field as well as adhering to university guidelines to keep everyone safe,” he says.
Here are some details of their current operational practices.
Which facilities are currently open?
- William E. and Mary Jo Davis Recreation Area at Lake Claire
- RWC Park
- Tennis courts
- Outdoor Adventure Center
Fitness classes will be offered in person at Lake Claire, RWC Park and Garage B, as well as virtually through RWC+. Click here to register for group exercise classes.
These facilities have modified hours to accommodate cleanings, inclement weather and adjusted policies regarding equipment rentals, group gatherings, reservations, etc. Weather alerts will also be available on the RWC website to help students with planning. To learn more about these policies, visit the RWC’s webpage dedicated to COVID-19 protocols and frequently asked questions.
- RWC @ Downtown
The RWC will have a maximum capacity of 100 users and will require reservations in advance for time slots throughout the day. The RWC @ Downtown facility will have a maximum capacity of 15 users, with real-time capacity listed on the RWC website.
The hours of operations are:
- Monday – Friday: 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. and 4–10 p.m. (closed 1–4pm for cleaning)
- Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. and 4–10pm (closed 2–4pm for cleaning)
- RWC @ Downtown
- Monday – Friday: Noon until 6 p.m.
- Saturday – Sunday: Closed
More than 30 pieces of cardio equipment have been moved to one of the basketball courts to open more space on the main floor and help adhere to physical-distancing guidelines.
Students can make reservations no more than 24 hours in advance up to one hour prior to their visit. Students are limited to one reservation per day and can work out for one hour.
Students may not arrive any earlier than 10 minutes prior to a reservation and reservations will be canceled (or forfeited) 15 minutes after the reservation time. Users who show up early will not be permitted into the facility. Students can make reservations starting Thursday, Aug. 20.
Make a reservation by visiting ucfrwc.org.
Only currently enrolled UCF students and individuals with a current RWC membership may access the facilities.
Watercraft rentals at Lake Claire are available and will be cleaned after use. However, other equipment rentals for sports such as tennis or badminton will not be offered. Students must bring their own equipment.
The RWC is has transitioned to contact-free entry and has installed barcode readers at check-in stations. Each student will be assigned a barcode, which is available through the RWC to Go mobile app. To download on your mobile device, search UCF Recreation and Wellness Center in IOS and Android app stores.
All students will be required to sign a liability and risk assumption waiver, which can be accessed through the RWC website and mobile app. The waiver is valid for one year. Students will not gain entry to facilities without signing the waiver.
In order to provide the safest environment, the RWC is committed to extensive cleaning and disinfectant practices following university, CDC guidelines and industry-best standards. The RWC will use EPA-registered disinfectants proven to eliminate COVID-19 on surfaces.
Sanitizing stations will be provided at all indoor and outside facilities during operating hours as well as increasing frequency of custodial rounds to address high-touch points.
Extra disinfectant wipes for gym equipment will be available.
In accordance with university and CDC guidelines, the RWC will require face coverings in all inside spaces at all times.
In a situation such as outdoor singles tennis, students will not be required to wear a face covering.
When the RWC closed its physical spaces in March, it created RWC+, an online extension of the RWC that includes a variety of programs to reduce stress by staying active. From virtual group fitness classes to esports leagues, RWC+ allows Knights to continue to connect with the UCF community from anywhere.
RWC+ is also planning to create more programs that encourage students to get outdoors whether it is fitness classes or special programs like virtual 5k training.
“I believe some form of RWC+ will be offered to students from here on out.”
Mauro says he expects RWC+ to continue, even as the department resumes more of its in-person services.
“I think we’ll continue to find a way to make use of that platform when students are away from campus, like on winter break,” he says. “I believe some form of RWC+ will be offered to students from here on out.”
RWC+, esports, online games and sports trivia are offered at this time.
In the fall, esports will continue to be offered, and small-group, in-person sports that allow physical distancing will be permitted, including singles badminton, cornhole, golf, tennis, etc. Team sports where physical distancing cannot be maintained will not be offered.
Where to Find Up-to-Date Information
- RWC app
- RWC’s Safe page
- @UCFRWC on Twitter and Instagram
For the latest information about returning to campus, visit UCF’s coronavirus and Returning to UCF websites. Students, faculty, staff and visitors will be required to complete the COVID Self-Checker — available via the UCF mobile app or online — each day before arriving to campus.