When Tulane students stream back to the uptown campus on Aug. 20, one of their favorite hangouts, the Reily Student Recreation Center, will be waiting for them in like-new condition, thanks to nine days of intense cleaning and maintenance by teams of their peers, the Reily student staff.
It takes “a gigantic physical effort” to prepare Reily for the arrival of students, and leading that cleanup and fix-up were 45 students who are paid to organize and handle the work, with assistance by Reily's professional staff, says Missie McGuire, assistant vice president for campus recreation and student centers.
“It's such a heavily used center we see 1,400 students per day that there's no opportunity to do a deep clean and get after more involved maintenance issues” until the summer closure, McGuire says, which took place this year from July 31 to Aug. 8.
Students in “Team Pool,” for example, assisted in draining and scrubbing the 50-meter indoor swimming pool, while a contractor regrouted. McGuire says the students also made time for a game of indoor soccer in the empty pool. “We try to mix a little bit of fun in there,” she adds.
Then there were the students in “Team Prep,” who went through 96 rolls of painter's tape, and “Team Paint,” who took over with paintbrushes and rollers for the top-to-bottom spruce-up.
What can returning students look for in the “new” Reily Center? Nearly $50,000 worth of “cardio equipment” has been added to include new recumbent and upright bikes, each with personal televisions and plug-ins for iPods. The expanded cardio zone on the second floor now boasts a large-scale mural depicting Tulane students in action.
Working on the 21-year-old building “gives students a great understanding and appreciation of what it takes to give them a first-class facility, every day,” McGuire says. “After August closure, we find that students have a greater vested interest in the overall appearance and maintenance of the center.”