duPont entrance at the Zesiger Center to close

Two turnstile entrances on the main concourse of the fitness center will remain open.


The duPont Lobby entrance to the DAPER complex will close permanently on July 1, 2010. The two other entrances to the complex — at the Zesiger Center main desk across from Kresge Auditorium and on Vassar Street opposite the West Garage — will remain open.

“We are shifting where some of our patrons enter the facility so that we can continue to offer the widest range of hours, fitness opportunities, and services once they are inside,” said Tim Moore, director of recreational sports.

Due to the physical design of the complex, he said, it is not feasible to close one of the other turnstile entrances on the main concourse. “We recognize that this may cause some inconvenience, but this decision came only after extensive conversation within DAPER and with students, faculty and staff,” Moore said.

Over the past two years, the Institute has required DAPER, as it has other departments and units, to reduce its budget. Moore said that closing the entrance is one cost-saving measure that resulted from a review process that involved DAPER management, staff from the Division of Student Life, and recreational sports staff, as well as two panels of students, faculty, and other community members: the Recreation Advisory Committee and the DAPER Board.

“We shared a number of recommendations for cost saving measures with these committees,” Moore said. “All parties agreed with the closing and asked that DAPER’s priority be to maintain facility hours and to preserve as many programs and services as possible.”

FAQ about the duPont closure

Q. Why close the duPont entrance?
Over the past two years, every department at MIT, including DAPER, has been asked to examine its operations to help bring the Institute budget into balance. DAPER is closing one of its three entrances because it will enable us to reduce our costs while preserving core operations as much as possible. In other words, we are shifting where some of our patrons enter the facility so we can continue to offer the widest range of hours, programs, and services once they are inside.

Q. Why not close another entrance?
Due to the physical design of the complex, it is not feasible to close turnstile entrances on the main concourse.

Q. Were other cost saving measures considered?
Many other cost saving measures were considered—and have been implemented—throughout DAPER to achieve the budgetary reductions required by the Institute. All staff members and program areas were involved in the process. As a rule, DAPER tried to identify opportunities for savings that would have the least impact on our members’ experience using our programs and services.

Q. How was this decision vetted?
Before a final decision was made, recommendations for various cost saving measures were put before DAPER senior management, Division of Student Life (DSL) senior management, and recreational sports staff. As important, the recommendations and the data supporting them were shared with two panels of students, faculty, and alumni: the Recreation Advisory Committee and the DAPER Board. We also shared information with representatives of the Undergraduate Association (UA) and the Graduate Student Council
(GSC). All parties agreed that DAPER should maintain facility operating hours (120 hours/week during the academic year and 96 hours/week during the summer) and preserve as many current programs and services as possible. Therefore, these groups endorsed the decision to close the duPont entrance as one of the cost saving measures to achieve our budget targets.

Q. How much more time will it take me to get to the locker rooms to change into my workout clothes?
From the corner of the front sidewalk of the Student Center and entering the complex via the main concourse and Vassar turnstiles, we estimate that it will take most people an additional 20 seconds to walk to the Zesiger locker room or an additional 1 minute and 20 seconds to walk to the duPont locker room. Double these times for round-trip travel each visit.

Q. Will there be safety issues of closing this entrance?
Safety and security in DAPER facilities are a primary concern for all DAPER employees. Our record for response to accidents, injuries, and incidents is impeccable. We have staff continuously circulating throughout complex to monitor our operations and to respond to facility and patron issues and concerns. Closing the duPont entrance should not impact facility safety or security.

Q. Where do I pick up a group exercise class pass for Zesiger Center and duPont group exercise classes?
Beginning July 1, all group exercise participants at the Zesiger Center (MAC and Pool) and duPont center (T-Club) should proceed directly to the class location. The instructor will verify your group exercise class pass prior to class. Please keep your class pass out and with you so the instructor can check it.

Q: Where will I get my towel and checkout equipment?
Beginning July 1, all towel service and equipment checkout will be provided at the Vassar Street entrance.


Topics: Campus services, Department of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation (DAPER), Sports and fitness, Student life

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