Membership FAQ

Q:  What does the Recreation Center have to offer?

A: The Recreation Center offers comprehensive fitness and recreation opportunities. In addition to the large array of cardio, free weights and selectorized equipment, the Rec Center has four activity rooms for group fitness classes and instructional programs, an elevated jogging track that overlooks the wood court gymnasium, wellness center, equipment checkout and towel services.

Q: How do I know if I can become a member to use recreation facilities?

A: A recreation membership is available to students, faculty, staff, associate members, alumni and guests. Please refer to eligibility and fees or contact Member Services for more information.

Q: What does my membership include?  

A: Membership includes access to the Recreation Center and other recreation facilities (Boyden gymnasium, handball/squash courts & pool, Curry Hicks pool, Mullins tennis courts), participation in intramural sports (undergraduates, graduates, faculty/staff), group fitness classes, nutrition advising, equipment checkout, and towel service.

Q: Membership includes everything, but I just want to use the pools.

A: Many patrons only use recreation facilities for a specific fitness area and/or type of equipment or activity, such as patrons who come to only play basketball, or run on a treadmill, or use the dumbbells, take group fitness classes or swim at Boyden or Curry Hicks during the lunch hour. There is no practical way to give partial recreation access. Typically, it's one fee for everything. Most health insurance providers now offer partial and/or full reimbursement for a health/fitness membership.

Q: Do I need to bring my UCard to rec facilities?

A: Absolutely. Proper ID is required by each patron for entrance to recreation facilities. You will not be permitted to enter recreation facilities without your UCard or guest pass if you are a guest of a recreation member.

Q: When is it most crowded?

A: Peak crowds at the Recreation Center are between 4:00-9:00pm weekdays. Mornings 6:00-10:00am and evenings 10:00-midnight are least crowded. Weekends are less crowded than weekdays.

Q: What equipment is available for checkout?

A: Equipment is available at the equipment checkout desk in the Recreation Center (level 1 near Member Services) and includes basketballs, volleyballs, badminton & tennis racquets, and jump ropes. Patron UCard is required to borrow any equipment. It's a "bring your own" if you plan to use Boyden gym (courts) during recreation.

Q: What about towels at the Recreation Center?  

A: As available, workout and shower towels are available at equipment checkout and can be returned to the on-site laundry bins in the locker rooms or equipment checkout desk. Patrons are encouraged to bring a personal workout towel, as sometimes workout towels are being laundered and/or are all in use. Again, proper ID is required to borrow a shower towel.

Q: Are day lockers available at the Recreation Center?  

A: Yes, day lockers and cubbies are available for members. Members are encouraged to bring their own lock because we have a limited supply of locks for day use. Remember that day lockers are for temporary use (no overnight storage). Personal locks left on lockers will be removed.

Q: Can I rent a locker at the Recreation Center?  

A: Yes, full and half lockers can be rented on a first-come, first-served basis while available and must be renewed or returned by the end of the membership session. Rental fees are payable at Member Services.

Q: What about lockers at Boyden and Curry Hicks?  

A: For members who are pool users (because if you think about...it's nice to let your swimwear dry), lockers can be assigned for the membership session(s) at the Boyden towel counter. Visit staff at the Boyden counter for a locker assignment. Please note: the Boyden counter is open during Boyden pool rec swim time only and subject to staff availability. Curry Hicks lockers are day use only (no overnight storage).

Q: Where can I lock my bicycle?

A: Bicycle racks are provided outside the Recreation Center. Several racks are located on the back side of the bus stop on Commonwealth Avenue and outside the main entrance at the Courside Cafe. There are also bicycle racks at the Mullins Center directly across the street from the Recreation Center. As you know, bicycles are not permitted inside the Recreation Center, main mallway, stairs, etc. Bicycles found at inappropriate areas will be removed and placed at a bike rack.

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Q: What about towels at Boyden and Curry Hicks?  

A: For pool users with an assigned locker, a towel can be provided. The towel service operates on a strict exchange. That is, when you turn your towel in for laundering, a clean towel will be immediately given to you. Without a towel to exchange, we can't give you one to use. Please note: only Boyden counter has toweling operations. 

Q: What group fitness classes are available?

A: Many classes are offered in the Recreation Center in the activity rooms. The schedule changes daily, so the best way to know is to go to the class schedule link. Also, check out the class descriptions link for more info.

Q: Do you need group fitness instructors ?  

A: We absolutely do. If you can teach group fitness classes and have the required certifications, please contact the Assistant Director for Group Fitness.

Q: Can I get reimbursement for my recreation fee?

A: Benefited staff should check with their insurance provider. Some health providers will offer reimbursement for recreation member benefits. Members of the UMass Graduate Employee Organization can also get partial reimbursement - check with GEO.

Q: Are the facilities handicapped accessible?  

A: The Recreation Center is handicapped accessible. Entry to the Recreation Center is at Member Services on the main level. Locker rooms are on the main level. The passenger elevator will get you to the 2nd and 3rd levels. To access the Courtside Cafe on the 2nd level, use the lobby elevator near Member Services. Boyden is handicapped accessible at the building's north & south sides. The pool and men's and women's locker rooms are on the main level. Curry Hicks is not handicapped accessible. The pool is on the ground level.
Recreation Center map | Boyden map | Curry Hicks map

Q: Are facilities open on holidays?

A: Do you think we would close on Patriots Day to celebrate the Boston Marathon and Red Sox at Fenway? We love the Boston Marathon & Red Sox, but heck no. Seriously, the holiday schedule is posted on our website.

Q: Are there assisted changing rooms in the facilities ?  

A: The Recreation Center has assisted changing room 115 with shower on the main level near the men's and women's locker rooms. Boyden and Curry Hicks do not have assisted changing rooms.

Q: I hear Boyden gymnasium is still open for recreation. 

A: Yes and no. Boyden gymnasium (courts) is scheduled for varsity practice, recreation, intramurals and club sports practice. Yes, it's a hot-bed of activity.

Q: What about parking?

A: Parking space around the Recreation Center is limited. A metered lot is located next to the George N. Parks Minuteman Marching Band Building on Hicks Way. Boyden has some meters for parking. There is no free parking on campus from 7am—5pm. If you do not have a permit, you will need to purchase a one-day pass or utilize a metered lot or the Campus Parking Garage. From 5pm—7am, you may park in any non-24-hour restricted lot without a permit, or park in a metered space at no charge. You may also park at any meter from 5pm—9am. 
UMass Parking Services general info

Q: What are the overall policies for using the recreation facilities?

A: Please follow links to our member policies and activity area policies for more information. Being a good patron is important and key to maintaining the facilities.

Q: Are facilities open when the University closes, such as during snowstorms?

A: When the University closes due to an emergency, an unplanned event, or inclement weather (yes, the Northeast can get snowstorms), all recreation facilities will close. At these times, call Member Services @ 413-545-0022 or check out our website for the latest info.
Inclement weather procedures

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