Running out of room|Campus Recreation seeks space for programs at SAU

Ann Austin, front, teaches a Pilates class in the Rogalski Center at St. Ambrose University in Davenport.

By Brittany Muntz

DAVENPORT — There’s no doubt that St. Ambrose University is working to accommodate the overcrowding issues on campus. A new dormitory is in the works, Lee Lohman Arena underwent a major makeover, and a new parking zone option is being offered at the university’s St. Vincent’s property.

Although some issues have been solved, more keep popping up. One of which is causing limitations for Director of Campus Recreation Andy Milton.

Campus Recreation is heading into its fourth year of offering group fitness classes. With participation higher than ever, Milton realizes that space is becoming an issue.


“The proof is in the pudding as far as the participant numbers,” Milton said. “Because numbers are so high, we are struggling to find spots to have the classes.”

The fitness classes are supposed to take place in the Lee Lohman dance studio. However, the dance studio only holds about 18 participants comfortably. With some classes numbering 30 or 40 participants, Milton is being forced to move the classes wherever he can find room.

“When we don’t have room in the dance studio we are forced to go to the Rogalski Center Ballroom or outside,” Milton said.

So far, he has had success in moving classes to other places. The Rogalski Center Ballroom has been available and the weather had been holding up. However, Milton is struggling to find a place for future classes, when the Rogalski Center Ballroom is unavailable and it’s too cold to go outside.

“When we don’t have the ballroom available, we have nowhere to go,” Milton said. “What I don’t want to do is tell students there’s not class because we have nowhere to go; that can’t happen”

He hasn’t found a solution to this problem yet, but brainstorming continues.

“We’re really racking our brains trying to figure out what to do,” Milton said.

Another space limitation has to do with storage of fitness equipment. Campus Recreation provides some equipment for group classes such as yoga mats and resistance bands, but supplies are limited due to the unavailability of storage space.

Students have been very accommodating of this situation, many of them bringing their own equipment so students without can use what is provided by Campus Recreation.

“We make it work; the students and I have discovered that soup cans work great as free weights for Pilates,” group fitness instructor and Ambrose faculty member Ann Austin said.

Currently, the classes being provided include Trim and Tone, Pilates, Zumba, Abs and Assets, and Cross Functional Fitness. All of which require only the equipment that Campus Recreation has available. If instructors wish to instruct classes that require different equipment, space considerations must be made.

“I would love to have a stability ball class,” Austin said. “But then again, 25 stability balls take up a massive amount of space.”

Austin has offered a stability ball class in the past. The class required students to bring their own balls to the class.

“The class just didn’t go,” Austin said. “But Andy Milton is very supportive and will try just about any program we think will go.”

While the answer to the space limitation challenge is still in the works, the Campus Recreation staff remains optimistic.

“We just look at what we can do with what we have,” Austin said.

(Brittany Muntz is a senior at St. Ambrose University in Davenport and news editor of The Buzz student newspaper.)

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