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By Lisa Rahman

There is something growing on the walls of the Recreation and Athletics Centre and it’s not pretty.

“It’s dirty,” said one Ryerson staff member. Having been a regular at the RAC for the past seven years, she has plenty of examples of the general lack of maintenance she’s seen over the years. “The kids’ camps are down here in the summer to swim, and the floors are always flooded after. But it’s Ryerson, what do you expect?”

Her wrinkled nose this time was due to the discovery of what is believed to be mould along the ceiling of the women’s change room at the athletics centre. The fungus, which was dripping onto the women walking through the doors earlier last week, now sits in a discoloured, crusty off-white patch above the change room doors — waiting for the next rainfall to turn into another leaky mess.

Clare O’Handley, a first-year social work student, recalls noticing the mould a few weeks ago. Although she worries it may pose health risks, she said it’s not enough to encourage her to spend less time at the RAC.

Jordan Maxey, a third-year fashion communications student, is equally unperturbed. “I just expect the gym to be dirty. There’s always that smell.”

The manager of marketing and special programs at the RAC, Jane Brown, dismisses accusations that there is anything unsafe about the gym and claims there is no mould. However, she did admit to other maintenance problems in the building.

“There is a leak where the foundation of the RAC joins the foundation of Kerr Hall in the hallway leading towards the women’s change room.”

Leaks have always been a problem at the RAC. The athletics centre was shut down briefly the morning of Feb. 17, 2005, when a ruptured pipe caused a flood in the Quad spilling water into the RAC as well.

Regarding the current mysterious stains and growths outside the women’s change room, Brown said, “I also found out that there is white rust there, but that the situation is being managed and is not a potential health risk to anyone.”

Sandra Hart, manager of recreation services and facilities, said she was aware of the problem but was not interested in discussing it further.

Still, the upkeep of the gym is of concern to many of the students who use the facilities.

“There are water leaks and pipe problems… It’s a good thing to look into it since we spend so much money on it,” said Joyce Mosby, a fourth-year photography student.

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