Otto Rec Center’s new social distancing restrictions

Mel Stramm ® Variety Editor |

Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Otto Recreation Center is officially open, but certain changes have been put in place that might throw returning students for a loop.

Instead of students being able to walk through the gate and scan their MavCard for access, access to Otto Rec must now be gained via an online reservation system. 

To use the facilities (including the field house, pool and rec center) students can simply go on the Campus Rec website (mankato.mnsu.edu/university-life/campus-recreation) and book a time slot a day in advance. The registration system also generates automatic email reminders and calendar invites to make personal scheduling easier.

In order to adhere to state capacity regulations, the weight room was split up into two parts: the north and the south weight room, with each being treating as its own room for capacity purposes. 

The university installed new flooring as well as 11 new pieces of workout and cardio machines in the space formerly used as a TV lounge. Machines in both weight rooms are kept far enough apart to allow for social distancing. The capacity for the south weight room as well as the upstairs cardio area is currently at 25 people, while the north room holds 11. 

The courts and track in Myers Field House are also open to students for booking time slots. Also, Campus Recreation is able to offer group exercise classes. 

As of right now, most classes are held outside since the inside capacity is only at eight students per class. Students must also register online for these classes. The group exercise schedule is set for the first six weeks of classes in order for Campus Rec to stay flexible. 

For students who can’t come to campus, Pennington Hall is currently in the process of becoming Zoom friendly. Using Zoom, students who live off-campus can take part in exercise classes remotely. Campus Rec also offers online workout videos on YouTube. 

In terms of sanitary changes, Campus Rec is following university regulations for social distancing. That means masks need to be worn unless you are actually exercising (exerting yourself) in the appropriate areas. While students are expected to clean their own areas, facilities management has increased cleaning in high-risk and high-use areas. 

As of right now, intramural sports are supposed to take place. Sports will probably be limited to softball, four-on-four volleyball, and singles sports such as golf or tennis. 

The rock wall will remain closed until a solution for sanitization can be found, since it is such a high-touch area. 

Minnesota State University’s Otto Recreation Center is officially open, but certain changes have been put in place that might throw returning students for a loop.

Instead of students being able to walk through the gate and scan their MavCard for access, access to Otto Rec must now be gained via an online reservation system. 

To use the facilities (including the field house, pool and rec center) students can simply go on the Campus Rec website (mankato.mnsu.edu/university-life/campus-recreation) and book a time slot a day in advance. The registration system also generates automatic email reminders and calendar invites to make personal scheduling easier.

In order to adhere to state capacity regulations, the weight room was split up into two parts: the north and the south weight room, with each being treating as its own room for capacity purposes. 

The university installed new flooring as well as 11 new pieces of workout and cardio machines in the space formerly used as a TV lounge. Machines in both weight rooms are kept far enough apart to allow for social distancing. The capacity for the south weight room as well as the upstairs cardio area is currently at 25 people, while the north room holds 11. 

The courts and track in Myers Field House are also open to students for booking time slots. Also, Campus Recreation is able to offer group exercise classes. 

As of right now, most classes are held outside since the inside capacity is only at eight students per class. Students must also register online for these classes. The group exercise schedule is set for the first six weeks of classes in order for Campus Rec to stay flexible. 

For students who can’t come to campus, Pennington Hall is currently in the process of becoming Zoom friendly. Using Zoom, students who live off-campus can take part in exercise classes remotely. Campus Rec also offers online workout videos on YouTube. 

In terms of sanitary changes, Campus Rec is following university regulations for social distancing. That means masks need to be worn unless you are actually exercising (exerting yourself) in the appropriate areas. While students are expected to clean their own areas, facilities management has increased cleaning in high-risk and high-use areas. 

As of right now, intramural sports are supposed to take place. Sports will probably be limited to softball, four-on-four volleyball, and singles sports such as golf or tennis. 

The rock wall will remain closed until a solution for sanitization can be found, since it is such a high-touch area. 

Anyone with questions regarding Otto Rec Center use and safety can call (507) 389-6125.

Header photo courtesy of Campus Rec’s Facebook page.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: