As intercollegiate athletics move indoors for the winter months, many in the Geneseo community have found that recreational athletics suffer limited and often unpredictable scheduling in the Kuhl and Holcomb gyms.
Music professor Jim Kimball became aware of the issue when his sons began playing basketball in the Holcomb gym.
"Recreational space is very unpredictably available," Kimball said. "Last Saturday we went down there at about 1 p.m. and campus police were kicking about 20 guys out of Holcomb Gym. Why couldn't it be open if there's nothing else going on?"
Students seemed to agree.
"I don't think the hour or so that's available to us at Holcomb three days a week is fair," senior Eric Kelly said. "And they always have high-school stuff going on in Kuhl during the weekends. Why not show off [restricted to varsity] Schrader to the community? I think it's a perfect opportunity for the school to attract local students to apply here."
Another student, senior John Serignese, also voiced frustration.
"Since I've been here, there's always been a miscommunication in terms of when the gym is open," he said. "I think if they extended the hours at night for the gyms being open, that could be our time right there."
In the typically cold, rainy and snowy winter season at Geneseo, open indoor facilities become less accommodating for all students, as varsity athletes take first priority.
According to Michael Mooney, associate director of intercollegiate athletics and recreation, this issue is especially relevant in the first eight weeks of the semester, when the winter and spring seasons of Geneseo sports overlap and rely on the same facilities.
"We're still operating a lot of recreational activities, if you look at intramurals, the racquetball and squash courts, the pool and the ice rink," Mooney said. "Pick-up basketball is just particularly limited during these weeks."
Director of Athletics Marilyn Moore, who oversees Kuhl gym scheduling, said that recreation space is usually available between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., but these hours generally conflict with student schedules.
"We don't have an unlimited run-of-the-mill at prime time, like we often do in fall," Mooney added.
Holcomb Gym is even further limited by its schedule, since it is only available for recreational athletics when it is reserved for that purpose. While a building manager works at Kuhl in the evenings and on weekends, Holcomb is not consistently supervised.
According to Andrea Klein, director of campus scheduling and events, "On average, about an hour almost every day of the week is reserved for recreational athletics."
These times are limited by the occupation of various student groups on campus, including varsity track and the Royal Lady Knights, as well as the reservations by such community groups as Arc Children's Services and Genesee Valley Bronze Bear Soccer.
"I have all the sympathy in the world for recreational athletics," Moore said, "but until we get some alternative facilities, they're not much we can do."
One such alternative includes the school's plans for a stadium on the ground currently occupied by the Holcomb building.
According to Moore, the state is very slow for funding and approval, and she predicts that any production of the stadium would not take place until late 2009 or 2010.
These plans, however distant, have already attracted dissent among those who use Holcomb, which would likely be razed to put in the stadium.
"I think if we fell back to two gyms, we'd really be at the bottom of the heap," Kimball said.
Geneseo is also looking toward a shared venture with the proposed Geneseo YMCA, which, "could happen before the stadium," Moore said. The joint endeavor, which is currently in exploratory stages, would potentially attach YMCA facilities to the west side of the ice arena.