As the Jack Doyle Athletics and Recreation Centre celebrates its one-year anniversary, the interim senior manager Timothy Lee discussed the facility's new additions. Photo credit: David Rotel

Sept. 27, 2022 marked the one-year anniversary of the Jack Doyle Athletics and Recreation Centre’s grand opening. Since then, the ARC has made several changes.

It opened during COVID-19 and despite having all restrictions lifted, it will continue to only grant access to registered Algonquin College students and staff.

“With the ARC opening during COVID where student presence on campus wasn’t at full capacity, we did not have an accurate measure of how busy the facility might be once students returned to campus and had a chance to enjoy this world-class facility,” said Timothy Lee, the interim senior manager of the ARC.

“In order to ensure those registered students don’t get crowded out of their own facility, we wanted to take the opportunity to evaluate the flow and usage numbers first before addressing the possibility of considering public access to the facility,” Lee added.

At this time, there is no confirmed date when the public will gain access to the ARC. For the moment, the priority is serving registered students and staff.

While all the rules and regulations of the facility haven’t really changed, the main policy remains that students must complete the ARC’s online waiver and have their student cards activated to access the ARC’s fitness area.

“We have a one-strike policy. If you forget your student photo ID card while visiting the ARC, you will be granted access one time without your card once your status has been verified on our system. If a card is forgotten a second time, access will not be granted and the student will need to get their card or replace it with card services before access will be permitted,” said Lee.

“This card will also be important to have in order to gain no charge access to varsity games as well,” he said.

Regarding the ARC’s equipment, only one addition was added. According to Lee, two table tennis tables were added as a part of the recreation program.

The number of staff members has increased. Although the increase in hiring has mostly involved part-time staff, the ARC now has a full-time climbing wall attendant for the rock-climbing wall inaugurated earlier this year.

“As we continue to assess our operational needs with more students and staff using the facility along with increased programming in the facility and our operating schedule, this number has increased in order to ensure we provide the best service possible to our students and staff,” said Lee

Despite not having the exact numbers tallied, there’s been a significant increase in students using the ARC since last year.

“With the addition of intramural programs and more group fitness classes being added, the response has been excellent. We’re so excited to have the students make use of this world-class facility that was built for them and encourage those students who haven’t activated their student cards to do so,” Lee said.

The intramural sports season recently started and while ARC staff currently have no future big plans, staff will continue to supply students with the equipment they need to make this season enjoyable.