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Friday, September 24, 2021

The classic UF gym: Student Recreation & Fitness Center

The oldest student fitness center on campus can be found in the shadow of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium

The Student Recreation & Fitness Center on Friday, June 18, 2021.
The Student Recreation & Fitness Center on Friday, June 18, 2021.

Nestled right in the heart of UF’s campus, the Student Recreation & Fitness Center is the university’s original gym. 

Opened in 1991, Student Rec is over 37,000-square-feet and is located next to the Student Health Care Center and behind the Racquet Club Dining Center on Fletcher Drive. 

Student Rec’s strength and conditioning room spans 6,300 square feet. Three large activity rooms host guided classes like yoga and zumba, and a dedicated cardio room and a cycling studio provide opportunities to get your blood pumping. 

The facility is centered around a multipurpose gymnasium that can be used for basketball, volleyball and even martial arts. Five racquetball courts and two squash courts are also housed inside. Sports equipment is available for checkout at the gym’s front desk. 

On a day where the Gainesville heat is especially overbearing, you can take a dip in the Florida Pool, located directly behind Student Rec. The pool features eight 50-yard-long swimming lanes with depths ranging from 4.5 feet to 12.5 feet. It’s also heated up to a toasty 84 degrees in the winter months. 

The gym, pool and equipment rentals are free to all UF students who are taking classes. 

While smaller in size than the massive Southwest Recreation Center, Student Rec’s main upside is its convenient location. Parking at Student Rec is scarce though, and the facility is best accessed by bike, scooter or foot. With the majority of UF’s residence halls on the east side of campus, they are not walking distance to the state-of-the-art Southwest Rec. So, if you are trying to get a sweat in with only a small amount of time between classes, Student Rec is for you. 

Lance Duch, a 20-year-old microbiology junior, fits trips to Student Rec into his schedule almost every day. 

“I typically went around 11 a.m. or noon each day and loved going at the time because the gym wasn’t too busy but also not dead either,” said Duch.

Duch wanted to build muscle when he came to college, so he has spent most of his time in the weight room, which he said has all the machines and weights he needs. He said the location was his favorite aspect of Student Rec because he never had to drive to go to the gym.  

The classic recreation center lacks the size and style of its counterpart, but it overcomes that with its convenience. If you stop by for a work out, make sure you don’t skip out on the free Gatorade offered in the lobby of the Student Health Care Center. 

Contact Joseph Henry at Follow him on Twitter @Josephhenry2424.

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