Doors to Bigger, Brighter ARC Open March 27

Project’s Unveiling Will Follow Monday-Tuesday Closure

Inside the remodeled ARC.
Crews complete the finishing touches inside the ARC's foyer. The second-floor balcony is a new addition. (Elijah Tech/UC Davis)

After nearly two years of remodeling, the Activities and Recreation Center is almost ready to unveil its expansion project — adding space for strength training and reconfiguring the layout to make room for a plethora of new equipment, while bringing in more natural light — but first the ARC will close for two days so crews can take down temporary walls and move equipment.

The closure is set for next Monday and Tuesday (March 25 and 26), during spring break. For the March 27 reopening, the main doors on the east side of the building will be back in use.

“It has such great natural lighting and is so wide open,” Deb Johnson, director of recreation with Campus Recreation, said of the renovated ARC, which has been in use since 2004. “We’re excited to provide more space and state-of-the-art equipment to better serve our members and guests.”

The lobby has been outfitted with a new front counter, where you can take care of all your ARC business like signing up for membership or classes, instead of having to go to separate locations. Membership in the ARC is open to students (free), faculty and staff, retirees, alumni and other UC Davis affiliates, and their immediate family members; and community members. 

Some new equipment is exclusive to UC Davis

Weight racks inside the ARC.
The combined squat racks and weightlifting platforms inside the remodeled portions of the ARC. (Elijah Tech/UC Davis)

A bevy of new equipment sits in waiting: 20 squat racks, thought to be the largest number at any university in the country; a shipping container in the building’s courtyard, which will be used to store outdoor workout gear and fitted with rigs for pull-ups and bar work; UC Davis-branded stationary bicycles; cable-based strength-training machines that can be adjusted to numerous angles; and cardio equipment with individual screens so users can stream TV shows or movies from their personal Netflix or Hulu accounts.

Johnson said people have been gaping at the new equipment through windows and over the construction walls.

“It is so impressive,” she said. “When the walls started coming down, we started getting questions on social media.”

More squat racks have been an oft-requested feature, Johnson said — and several of the new units are unique in their own way: UC Davis officials worked with two companies that build squat racks and sound-deadening weightlifting platforms to combine their products into a single unit without affecting the warranty of either.

Group classes to gain more emphasis

Cardio machines in the ARC.
Much of the cardio equipment in the ARC is situated near windows to give the user a view of the outdoors. (Elijah Tech/UC Davis)

Small group activity classes like kickboxing, strength training, TRX suspension systems, high-intensity interval training and more, which Johnson said can be less intimidating because they’re capped at 10 participants, will also get more attention in the renovated ARC. A new public address system can alert visitors when classes are set to start and have vacancies.

“The small group training classes are a great way for people to develop a community right off the bat and have a licensed professional taking care of them the whole way,” she said.

Small group training, large group exercise, dance, mind-body and martial arts classes are free to members during Try Before You Buy, normally scheduled the first week of each quarter but which will last two weeks this spring, April 1-14, in celebration of the expansion pr, up exercise classes will be free for Campus Recreation members during Try Before You Buy, the first two weeks of spring quarter.

Officials are planning orientations from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday the first few weeks of the spring quarter and how-to events to get visitors acquainted with the space and teach them how to use the new equipment. Details on the how-to series are forthcoming. 

Crews will take advantage of the rearrangement to resurface all four basketball courts in the ARC; they’ll be closed through April.

An opening date is still forthcoming for The Market at the ARC, which was previously known as The Pro Shop. In addition to beverages and workout apparel, it will now sell some premade food, with offerings similar to The Market in the Memorial Union.

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