Fitness facilities opening, but you’ll need reservations


The good news is that recreational and fitness facilities on the Oakland campus will be opening soon; the bad news is that you’ll have to plan ahead to use many of the locations. There’s also still plenty of online offerings for faculty, staff and students.

Most of the recreation facilities will open either Sept. 5 or 7, except for those in Bellefield Hall, which will remain closed. At Trees Hall, the basketball courts, downstairs fitness room, racquetball courts and pool will be open from noon to 5 p.m. weekends starting Sept. 5.

Weekday hours (find full list here):

Basketball courts: 5 to 8 p.m.

Fitness center and racquetball: 11 to 8 p.m.

Pool: 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m.

Climbing wall and driving range: 5 to 8 p.m. Mondays to Thursdays, 2 to 5 p.m. Fridays, weekend hours vary. The climbing wall will be open for bouldering only.

Renee Rogers, head of Be Fit Pitt, said they are currently working to determine the best way to provide programming at the Trees Hall fitness center for staff and faculty.

The Sports Dome Complex and the students-only rec centers in the Petersen Events Center and the William Pitt Union also will open Sept. 5, and the Fitzgerald Field House opens on Sept. 7. Check online for specific hours.

The key difference this fall is that daily reservations will be required for access to all campus recreation facilities, either for individuals or groups. Book a time slot here. The maximum time slot is 45 minutes.

Masks will be required for almost all activities, except swimming. This includes running on a treadmill, lifting weights, playing kickball or shooting hoops. The layout of the equipment also has been changed to provide social distancing. 

In addition, patrons must bring their own equipment for many activities, including climbing shoes, basketballs, racquets, weight belts, stretch bands, towels and yoga mats. Water fountains will be shut down, but the water filling stations will be operational.

If you were holding out for the new recreation center planned for O’Hara Street, get ready to wait. Work was supposed to begin in May on tearing down the O’Hara Garage and the Learning Research and Development Center to make way for the new rec building, but the pandemic put a hold on that. The recreation facility was originally scheduled to open in fall 2022, and no new target date has been announced.

Find answers to other questions on the Student Affairs campus recreation website, or call 412-648-8210 or email

Virtual fitness

The wide variety of online fitness tips and classes offered by Be Fit Pitt, which began in the spring after campus was closed down, will continue through the fall semester and beyond, Rogers said.

The programs continuing on Be Fit Pitt’s online platforms include:

  • Live streaming fitness classes on Pittwire Live three to four times per day.

  • Regular exercise and activity content on the Be Fit Pitt YouTube page; with workouts anywhere from 5 to 45 minutes long in a variety of different exercise modes, from Yoga to Kickboxing.

  • Health and fitness evidence-based educational content and ways to enhance and engage in healthy lifestyle activities on the Be Fit Pitt website and social media.

“I am hopeful that as our Pitt staff, faculty and students return to campus or not, that they will realize that these virtual and online opportunities for engaging in healthy lifestyle activities exist,” Rogers said, since most of the virtual options weren’t developed until April.

“We have worked hard to continue to make these workouts accessible to all fitness levels and offered at different times across the day to help people engage when it works for them,” she said.

For any wellness and fitness-related questions, email and follow the Be Fit Pitt team on social media for up-to-date program offerings and virtual resources.

Susan Jones is editor of the University Times. Reach her at or 412-648-4294.


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