The Final Semester of the SERF: What’s next?

It’s true. This spring is expected to be the final full semester of the Southeast Recreational Facility.

*Cue gasps/tears/cheers*

Although actual demolition of the existing SERF isn’t scheduled until fall 2017, it’s never too early to start talking about plans. And we know you’ve got questions. The first of which is probably, “Where am I going to go when the SERF closes?”

For the past several months, we have been working on a variety of options to alleviate the compression that will be felt when the SERF is shut down. Keep reading to find out what to expect with the transition and where you can go to play hard, get fit, and live well! (Hint: there will be a lot of options!)

University Recreation Fields – Near West

This spring, the brand new turf fields at Near West are scheduled to open! Let’s be clear about one thing: these fields are not made of regular turf. This turf getting installed at Near West is called the Mondo FTS Turf System with EcoFill, and it’s the first-ever FIFA 2-star rated turf system in the world. (That’s the highest ranking a turf field can get!)

Near West

This new turf is more durable, non-toxic, and feels very similar to natural grass. Instead of the recycled tire crumb used on most playing fields, these fields incorporate Ecofill, which is free of heavy metals, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), and odor! It’s also non-toxic, recyclable and reduces field temperatures up to 70%. Furthermore, the layers below it are made of 95% post-consumer recycled content and help reduce concussive injuries. Basically, this new turf is the stuff of dreams. Imagine not having to worry any longer about soggy grass, muddy fields, and unplayable spaces. The opening of Near West will mark the completion of the first project in the Master Plan, and we can’t wait!

Ogg Fitness Center

If you live in Ogg Residence Hall and you like how close the SERF is now, you’ll be thrilled to know we’re moving in! Our neighbor to the west will be opening their doors and letting us take over their first floor lounge. The new “Ogg Fitness Center” will be available to all Rec Sports members and currently enrolled students while the new “SERF” is constructed.

Equipment moving to Ogg will include cardio, plate-loaded, and some free weight equipment. We plan to distribute the rest between the Natatorium and The Shell.



This fall, the Nat will be the place to be! It will house the main pool on campus, Group Fitness classes, and more. The current weight and cardio room there is expected to convert into a dedicated weight room. This space on the first floor will house free weight and strength equipment only, creating the single largest weight room within Rec Sports facilities until the new “SERF” opens. To accommodate this change, we will also transform a basketball court in the Nat into a cardio and plate-loaded equipment space to keep up with demand for those activities.

With the closure of the SERF, the Nat will become the primary pool within Rec Sports facilities. To make sure we meet the needs of our dedicated swimmers (we see you, swimmers!), we will be extending open swim times at the Nat by at least 10 hours per week:

Mondays 11am – 2pm, 5pm- 9pm
Tuesdays 7am – 9am,
11am – 2pm, 5pm – 9pm
Wednesdays 11am-2pm, 5pm- 9pm
Thursdays 7am – 9am, 11am – 2pm, 5pm – 9pm
Fridays 11am – 2pm, 5pm – 9pm
Saturdays 11am – 8pm
Sundays 11am – 8pm


We’ll also be extending weekend hours at the Nat, opening at 9AM on both Saturdays and Sundays, and the Nat will stay open on home football Saturdays!

The Shell

Over at the Shell, the first thing we’ll do is update existing equipment with pieces from the SERF, maybe even adding a few more pieces to the total inventory. Intramural Sports will find a new home at the Shell, taking advantage of the facility’s four regulation-size basketball courts, and like the Natatorium, we will expand building hours during the week, closing at midnight Monday – Thursday.


As we continue to move through the construction process on the new “SERF” and the Master Plan as a whole, we are committed to keeping students and members fully informed. To do so, we have created a section of our website dedicated to the Master Plan where you can find information about all of the Master Plan projects, including a Frequently Asked Questions section on the new “SERF” page. Stay tuned for more updates as they come available, and comment below if you have any other questions!



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