Annual Campus Rec shutdown allows for cleaning, upgrades

Scott Schroeder, a building services technician, paints metal stair edges in the Campus Rec facility on May 8. (Troy Fedderson, University Communications)
Scott Schroeder, a building services technician, paints metal stair edges in the Campus Rec facility on May 8. (Troy Fedderson, University Communications)

Scott Schroeder is seeing (and wearing) red this week.

The building services technician is one of more than 40 Campus Recreation employees painting, repairing, rebuilding and scrubbing surfaces and equipment during an annual week-long shutdown of the City Campus rec facility. The annual cleaning also includes some projects being completed by private contractors.

For most of the week, Schroeder has worked within a single stairwell, applying coats of Husker-red oil paint to cover blue handrails and metal stair edges. He wears the color on his hands and pant legs, gradually working his way down the four-plus story stairwell.

"The annual shutdown is a really important time because it allows us to complete major projects that we are unable to work on when the rec center is open," Schroeder said. "This paint alone takes three days to cure completely. We simply couldn't have this stairwell shutdown for that amount of time if we were open."

See more photos of work being done during the shutdown at

On the morning of May 8, student workers assembled weightlifting equipment and moved recumbent bikes back into a freshly cleaned strength training and conditioning room. The room — one of the busiest when the Rec Center is open — was repainted and the floor was completely cleaned.

"We do general cleaning every day through the year, but this is really a time that we do a deep cleaning through the entire Rec Center," said Christopher Dulak, assistant director of marking and development for the Rec Center. "We complete a few upgrades during the shutdown. And, everything gets cleaned so it looks shiny and new again when we reopen to students and members."

Wood floors in areas for basketball, volleyball, badminton, fitness/combative arts, and racquetball/squash are being refinished by the Kearney-based Midwest Floor Specialists. Other major projects completed this week include:

> Addition of 15 new FreeMotion s11.9 Carbon Drive indoor cycles and a huge ceiling fan in the Studio workout room;

> Overhaul of the swimming pool, including an acid wash of pool tiles, cleaning of stainless steel edging and re-caulk where stainless steel and tiles meet;

> Complete cleaning of Treadmill Loft and Cardio Zone;

> In locker rooms: refinishing wood in saunas; power wash of floors, showers and saunas; replace rusty footings on restroom dividers;

> Installation of new carpet in the Intramural Sports Office; and

> General maintenance of the facility, including painting walls and rails in stairwells; clean dryer ducts; clean high-level interior windows, sills and edges; and power wash concrete outside the Rec Center's main entrance.

One project that will not be completed when the Rec Center reopens on May 13 is an overhaul of the Super Circuit, which offers weightlifting equipment and exercise stations designed to improve muscular and aerobic fitness.

Dulak said Super Circuit improvements include the installation of new FreeMotion strength training equipment, the addition of a huge ceiling fan, power scrub of the floor and new paint.

"The Super Circuit will reopen May 20," Dulak said. "It's going to be very nice change for students and members who use that area."

While the week is a busy one for Campus Rec employees, Dulak said the group does a great job pulling together to finish projects for patrons.

"This is a key week for the overall health of this facility," he said. "It takes a lot of muscle and hard work to get things cleaned up and ready to use.

"It's a bit of an inconvenience for our students and members, but the shutdown allows us to provide them the best possible facility in terms of exercise and wellbeing every other week of the year."

For more information about UNL's Campus Recreation facilities, go to

— Troy Fedderson, University Communications

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