Taylor Gym reopened its basketball courts on March 1 following the COVID Response Team’s announcement making masks optional in all Lehigh buildings.
Besides a short time last fall, basketball courts have been closed since students were sent home in the spring of 2020.
Taylor Gym assistant director Genna Albano said the courts were open for the first week of the fall semester, after which they attempted to reopen the courts in the middle of the fall semester by appointment only. Courts were only open for three to four weeks due to masking compliance issues.
“We found that students were not respecting the mask mandate,” Albano said.
While Taylor Gym opened its fitness center, rock-climbing wall and racquet courts on January 31 this year with “regular hours”, the basketball courts remained closed for recreation until Thursday. March 1 announcement.
After Lehigh announced that students did not have to wear masks in certain parts of the libraries, Campus Athletics submitted a proposal to the CRT to expand fitness and recreation options. The proposal included eliminating appointments and capacity limits and opening basketball courts, Albano said.
Zach Stimmel, 22, who is also a member of the club’s basketball team at Lehigh, said he was delighted the courts were reopening.
“I think it’s great,” Stimmel said. “A big part of how I met people when I was a freshman was through the gym.”
Stimmel said before the shutdown, he used to play basketball at Taylor Gym at least once a week, depending on the week and his basketball club’s schedule.
Since the closure, Stimmel has been playing at Grace Hall with the club team, but is now delighted to have the opportunity to play Taylor again.
“It’s good for the underclass,” Stimmel said. “It makes people active and (gives them) the chance to meet new people.”
Aidan Gales, 22, was also a regular on the courts at Taylor Gym and is excited to return.
Before the pandemic, Gales traveled to Taylor to play basketball three to four times a week. He hopes to be able to go there two to three times a week now that it has reopened.
“Now it’s really easy to go to the gym,” Gales said. “It’s like before. We can just walk into the gym without a mask or a hoop.
Since it opened, Gales said he and his friends regularly go to Taylor to play basketball.
The basketball courts are open to students as well as faculty and staff, without reservation.
The courts are open for recreational purposes from 8:45 a.m. to 10:15 p.m., Monday through Friday, except when the badminton club has the space from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Thursday.
On Saturdays, the courts are open for recreational use from 12:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The hours are the same on Sundays, except from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. when the Badminton Club reserves it.