USU Aggie Recreation Center Sees its Millionth Patron
Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019
On Thursday, Jan. 18, the Aggie Recreation Center saw its one millionth participant, after three years of being open.
As he entered his A number and crossed through the entry line to the ARC, Dylan Jensen was greeted with cheers and a balloon drop from ARC staff, and an ARC employee announced a celebration over the intercom.
Chase Ellis, ARC director, was surprised at how quickly the facility hit one million.
“We didn’t think we would hit it this quickly, but again it just attests to the value the ARC has been to the students by the amount of volume of students actively using it,” Ellis said.
The ARC was a student-funded initiative, led by Tyler Tolson, 2009 Utah State University Student Association president.
Tolson met with James Morales, vice president for student affairs, and the two agreed they both wanted a better recreational facility for students, as the Nelson Fieldhouse felt outdated and inadequate to student needs.
In 2012, the student body passed a $75/year fee increase to fund the construction of the ARC, and construction began in April, 2014.
By November 2015, the ARC opened its doors to all USU students.
“It was built for students, it was paid for by students, students voted for it,” Morales said. “This is not a building for me, this is not a building for administrators or others, it is for students.”
In its three-year lifespan, 98 percent of students have used the ARC at least once, and 35 percent of the student body uses it three to five times per week.
“A lot of times nationally you don’t get that amount of numbers or use,” Ellis said. “We think it is a really good addition for the campus and we love providing those new opportunities for the students because it’s the student’s building.”
Ellis added in any given day, student use ranges from 2,300 to 2,600, but can climb as high as 4,000.
“You figure semesters and times of the year and obviously the first of the calendar year usage goes up and kind of tapers off and we didn’t think we would hit it this quickly,” Ellis said. “But again it just attests to the value the ARC has been to the students by the amount of volume of students actively using it.”
Morales said the appeal to the ARC is its multidimensional usage, as it is more than just a gym.
“It’s a recreation center,” Morales said. “Students come to socialize, to spend time together, to watch people playing in a pickup basketball game or a three-on-three basketball game…And so there’s other elements to this building than just a gym or fitness center.”
- - Andrew Rummens, Student Writer, Utah Stateseman