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November 21, 2002

Decision on non-student use of Baierl Center facilities won't be made before next fall

If faculty and staff are allowed to exercise at the Petersen Events Center's Bill Baierl Student Recreation Center, it won't be until next fall at the earliest.

That's because, until fall 2003, the administration will not have a complete report on student usage of the Baierl Center.

Without those numbers — and assurance that employees wouldn't encroach on students' access — Pitt will not open the facility to anyone but students, Chancellor Mark Nordenberg reaffirmed last week.

Nordenberg had told Senate Council in June that he would not consider allowing faculty and staff to work out at the Baierl Center until he'd seen a report on student usage of the facility.

On Nov. 5, two months after students began exercising at the Baierl Center, Faculty Assembly directed Senate President James Cassing to ask Nordenberg for an update on the issue, even though Assembly member Marilyn Ross, co-director of Pitt intramurals, warned that it might be premature to expect such an update because two key Baierl Center facilities — a multi-purpose room and an aerobic dance studio — haven't opened yet.

Neither the chancellor nor Senate President Cassing mentioned the issue in their reports to Senate Council on Nov. 11. Asked for a comment following the meeting, Nordenberg told the University Times: "The person from the administration who is most closely involved in the operation of that center [Ross] has said that she is not yet in a position to make a report on usage."

According to Ross, the Baierl Center's 2,800 square foot multi-purpose room will open next term, but the 2,400 square foot aerobic dance studio probably won't be ready until next fall because it requires removing a wall and installing a new floor.

— Bruce Steele

Filed under: Feature,Volume 35 Issue 7

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