New semester, new services
Published: Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Updated: Friday, January 11, 2013 17:01
As UCF’s student population expands, so do its services and square-footage. This semester brings a flurry of new services for students to take advantage of, such as a Recreation and Wellness Center by Towers, a larger print lab and new food vendors in the Union and a revamped Ticket Services counter.
Recreation and Wellness Center at Knights Plaza
You may have noticed the “coming soon” signs plastered on windows at the corner of Knights Plaza next to the arena. This is UCF’s new Recreation and Wellness Center, a 8,700 square foot facility that’s expected to open sometime by the end of January, according to Jim Wilkening, Recreation and Wellness Center director.
The gym will offer much of what its 150,000-square-foot predecessor on the other side of campus offers, Wilkening said, but is different in that it was designed to provide a more private and less intimidating exercise experience for students.
“It’s an inviting, open environment, but partitions between machines still allow someone to privately work out,” Wilkening said.
The Recreation and Wellness Center at Knights Plaza will have step machines, ellipticals and treadmills for those looking for a cardio workout and a larger circuit area than the one at the original Recreation and Wellness Center. It will also have a mind and body studio designed for lower intensity group exercise.
“It will open doors to students who may not have come over to the current rec center either due to location or the design of it,” Wilkening said.
Ticket Services has moved down the hallway in the Student Union, closer to the Pegasus Ballroom, and now has three working service windows — an improvement from the single window it had before.
“I used to go downstairs in the Union and see lines, and it gave me a headache,” said Paul Constantino, director of the Activity & Service Fee Business Office. "Popular things like Halloween Horror Nights should move way faster. We shouldn’t have lines for much of anything.”
In addition to old services, such as Safe Ride taxi vouchers and discounted theme park tickets, Ticket Services will soon have discounted tickets for the Daytona Speedway events, Tampa Bay Buccaneers games and others, Constantino said.
Student Government Association Express Print Lab expansion
SGA will soon move its 14-station Express Print Lab service to the space next to the new Ticket Services counter, and it will expand to 24 stations to better facilitate the need for quick and easy printing among UCF students.
“The expansion will allow students to have a better experience and have lower wait time,” said Mike Kilbride, UCF building services coordinator. “They can get in and out and go on with their day.”
Kilbride said the new lab is expected to open within the next few weeks.
All Knight Study in Ferrell Commons
The space that formerly housed Brooklyn Pizza in Ferrell Commons will soon be an All Knight Study space for students who live on that side of campus.
The study center should be open mid-semester, Kilbride said, and its open hours will follow a “24 hours, 5 days a week” schedule, similar to those of the Union.
All Knight Study II will offer comfortable seating for group work as well as individual study areas, 16 computer stations and free printing and scantrons for all students.
“The numbers at the other Knight Study by Towers have been very successful, so we decided that more students want more study space,” Kilbride said. “There are over 2,600 beds of students housing surrounding the area. We all know that the library is overcrowded, so its to provide students with a place to study close to where they live.”
New Union food vendors
All Stirred Up and Crepe Royale in the Union have closed and will soon be replaced by Huey Magoo’s and Topper’s Creamery.
“Of course there’s a smaller percentage that would have preferred to keep All Stirred Up, but in general, the student reaction has been tremendous,” said Lili Metcalf, director of Student Union Administration. “Students have been responding on surveys that they’d like to see more chicken options.”
The fried chicken food vendor is expected to open early February.
Topper’s Creamery will be moving into the space next to Wackadoo’s and is expected to open at the end of January. Metcalf said students have sampled the ice cream, which is a soft serve-style frozen custard, and that the responses have been positive.
“They’re trying to recognize student budgets and offer something at a reasonable price for students,” Metcalf said of Topper’s.