During February of this year the Connaught Gym began what soon became apparent as the most extensive and seemingly time wasting refurbishment in its history. Dates not being provided for completion (and yet subsequently missed) was just one of the many problems Sports and Wellbeing faced with the mammoth task of renewal.
As ex-Connaughtians will be aware of, the gym at Connaught began life as a squash court which, at some point, was converted to a dull room with weight machinery and a treadmill. From experience, the gym was rarely open and on the off chance it was, students had very little to work with (although the idea of having a gym a few feet away excited us all to no end). So when the news came that the gym would be getting a well-needed face lift, we were all ecstatic – however, the elation was to be short-lived.
After three long months, the gym should have been completed. However, Sports and Wellbeing experienced problems with the installation of a fully operational security card swipe system, which lengthened the wait for frustrated freshers. As helpful as the Residence Staff were, there was nothing they could do in the situation and unfortunately they became the scapegoat for the disconcerted students voicing their concerns, with no more knowledge about the situation than the students already knew.
The gym refurb was not completed in the allocated time as there were problems with the door access, which was on-going with 3 companies being involved and as you can imagine this caused issues with work being coordinated for completionHelen StoneSports and Wellbeing Manager
Upon observing the refurbishment myself, the gym now looks extremely clean, with new machines and a water fountain. There is no doubt that the quality is there, however the finish could have been a little more extensive; the air conditioning is not working, a screw is missing from one of the machine’s seats, and no toilet facilities are present on the lower or upper floor of the gym complex.
I’m glad that the new Connaught freshers (and Monte if they use it) will have this facility on Wide Lane but it came too late for the freshers that should have had access to it. So now, everyone with a gym membership will be able to access another of our universities lovely gym facilities and all is well, right? Well, unfortunately, it seems that a lack of communication didn’t help Sports and Wellbeing’s cause. This is not the only problem they have encountered this year – with the catastrophic managing of the intramural football league, students seem to be increasingly disillusioned. Is there a solution? Your guess is as good as mine. But unless communication between the students, the union and the university is bridged, there is reason to believe that problems like this will only continue.