Students eager to return to reopened Marino with new density restrictions


Gretchen Hofmann

Marino’s basketball courts, normally populated by intense pickup basketball, now are the home of socially distanced exercise equipment.

Gretchen Hofmann, news correspondent

The Marino Recreation Center has reopened for the fall semester despite the pandemic, which is certainly a welcomed change for those who missed their local gym during quarantine. Marino is adapting to a new normal upon reopening, taking precautions to ensure the safety of students and prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Marino has reduced its overall density and is operating at 40 percent capacity to ensure social distancing guidelines are met. To adhere to this standard, a new scheduling system has been implemented, where students can now schedule their workouts through the app ATLETO

Workouts can be scheduled up to three days in advance, or just a few minutes before, depending on availability. Reservations are available in time slots of 45 minutes, and students must choose one of four different zones, with specific  types of equipment available in each zone. 

Estefania Sanchez, a first-year psychology major, was appreciative of the efforts made to reopen Marino and spoke highly of the new scheduling system. 

“Working out is a big part of my life, so I was really excited to hear that Marino was going to be reopened,” said Sanchez. “Scheduling a workout with the app is very easy, it only takes a couple minutes.”

However, Abby Jin, a second-year computer science and math major, said that some of her friends have been experiencing issues with the app. 

“I personally haven’t had any problems with the app, but my friend told me that every time she books, it glitches and doesn’t go through,” Jin said. 

Jin acknowledged that regardless of the minor technical difficulties, Marino created an environment that made her feel safe to exercise with minimal risk of spreading COVID-19.  

“Besides that, everyone’s following social distancing rules, and there aren’t too many people here.” said Jin. 

To access Marino, students will need their NUID, zone reservation, Daily Wellness Check and a face mask. Face masks must be worn at all times and attendees are expected to keep a distance of six feet from each other at all times. 

Marino certainly looks and feels different in the midst of COVID-19. The basketball court and indoor track are now occupied by exercise equipment, bringing an end to pickup basketball games and indoor track workouts. Additionally, a circle of 14 feet is established around each piece of equipment. Hand sanitizers and alcohol wipes are available to wipe down exercise equipment after use, and systematic cleanings of each section of the facility take place throughout the day. 

Talia Lukowiecki, a first-year student in the Explore Program, said she was excited for Marino’s reopening. 

“I’m really happy that they actually opened,” Lukowiecki said. “I haven’t been here in the time before [the coronavirus], but I think it’s pretty good the way they managed with social distancing and the circumstances.”