RAC squash courts at risk

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By Steve Petrick

Ryerson administrators plan to meet Thursday to discuss changes to the Recreation and Athletics Centre — changes that may include removing several squash courts.

Members of the president’s advisory committee on athletics and recreation (PACAR) met Tuesday to discuss what renovations should be made to the RAC in anticipation of the influx of students expected in Sept. 2003, when Grade 12 and OAC students graduate from high school at the same time.

Marion Creery, director of student services, the department responsible for the RAC, wants to consider improving gym space in the 14-year-old facility.

“We’re going to have to accommodate more students,” she said. ‘They’re going to want more workout space and more bikes. It’s going to be a very long, ongoing discussion.”

But proposals to replace squash courts with more gyms was met with criticism by athletes. Administrators are already meeting again to search for new ideas.

“We’re going to go back to square one,” Creery said.

Regulars at the RAC are puzzled the school is even considering losing the courts.

Malia Herold, a fourth-year new media student and member of the women’s squash team, said there aren’t enough courts as it is. She waited in line for an hour to play a game on Tuesday.

“I think it’s a really bad idea,” she said. “I went in and then got kicked off the court because it was so busy.”

A RAC staff member estimated roughly 50 people use the six courts each day. Players can sign out a court for 40 minutes per game.

Steve Turvey, a fourth-year aerospace engineering student who uses the courts about once a week, said he’s seen more people playing squash at the RAC over the years.

“this year they’ve been a lot busier,” he said. “I think it’s a very popular sport.”

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