After months of YouTube workouts, chilly runs, and reorganizing dorm rooms and childhood bedrooms to make space for a yoga mat or weights, Columbia students will soon have another option. Dodge Fitness Center will reopen for limited student use for the first time in over 10 months on Tuesday. The Dodge reopening will begin with a maximum capacity of 320 online reservations per day, a fraction of its typical usage.
The announcement comes after the University invited 1,800 undergraduate students back to campus this spring, with thousands more living off campus—14,000 total Columbia students lived in New York in the fall. Dodge joins a growing list of reopening gyms in Morningside Heights, as gyms in New York were first permitted to reopen in September. Dodge’s website states that the number of members per 60-minute session must be beneath 33 percent of typical capacity, per New York state zone restrictions.
The Dodge reopening’s scope is incredibly limited. All club sports and physical education classes will remain entirely virtual, and no access to the fitness center will be permitted to graduate students at this time. The Dodge reopening also comes with restrictions on locker room usage; students will not be permitted to change or shower within the locker rooms. Finally, the Dodge website states that certain areas of the fitness center, including the pool, running track, squash courts, and the bottom and middle tri level-free weight training areas will be closed for use.
Even for undergraduates, the 320-student mark is a small percentage of Dodge’s pre-pandemic peak daily usage. In 2017, between 4,000 and 6,000 people per day visited Dodge during the winter, according to Erich Ely, then-associate athletics director for facilities operations and capital projects.
Students interested in exercising at Dodge must make a reservation ahead of time, show their green screen on the Reopen CU app, and wear a mask at all times. Reservations can be made here.