veryone on campus, it seems, is getting more MACtive. Grand opening ceremonies in March heralded phase two of the Maverick Activities Center, which boasts an indoor soccer field, racquetball courts, 16-lap indoor track, badminton courts, video-gaming area, two outdoor sand volleyball courts, two outdoor basketball courts, multipurpose rooms and a rock-climbing wall (coming this summer).
The celebration featured the cheer squad, balloons, refreshments, giveaways and tours. A crowd packed the MAC’s Lone Star Auditorium to hear remarks from UT Arlington President James D. Spaniolo, Student Affairs Vice President Frank Lamas and Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Doug Kuykendall, who oversees the MAC.
“We now have a state-of-the-art recreational facility to offer our students, faculty, staff and alumni,” Kuykendall said.
The celebration marked the end of an endeavor that began in April 2005 when students passed the Student Life Initiative referendum, which increased the campus recreation fee to fund improvements to the existing Activities Building. Phase one opened in September 2007 with a 20,000-square-foot weight and fitness room; two multipurpose rooms for yoga, martial arts and aerobics; five indoor basketball courts; eight volleyball courts; an indoor track; a “social corridor” with group seating and activity viewing; an Internet café with a juice bar; men’s and women’s health club-style locker rooms; and conference rooms.
With phase two, the once-119,000-square-foot Activities Building now encompasses 190,000 square feet. Two of its most popular features are the video-gaming area and indoor soccer field.
The video-gaming area sports six plasma screens for video games on two Nintendo Wii consoles, two Sony Playstation 3 systems and two Microsoft Xbox 360 units. Gamers can also rent videos, ranging from the sport variety to Guitar Hero on the Xbox 360 or Super Mario on the Wii.
When members aren’t gaming, they can hit the indoor soccer field, which accommodates intramural, club and informal play.
“Before the MAC was built, we played indoor soccer in the blue gym of the old Activities Building, but it was for intramural play only,” said Drew Barfield, assistant director of intramural sports and sport clubs. “Now anyone can use the indoor soccer field during informal recreation hours.”
Former Mr. UTA Keegan Wood is a regular.
“I’ve played on the new indoor soccer field for hours at a time,” said the organizational communications senior. “It attracts a diverse crowd of people to the MAC.”
Wood, a member of the UT Arlington soccer club, says the new venue gives members recreational options other than playing basketball or racquetball and working out.
“It’s nice to be able to walk into the MAC and say, ‘What do I want to play today?’ and know that you have that option.”
— Susan M. Slupecki
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