(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University is continuing to help community members find refuge from the area’s wildfire smoke, even during an upcoming maintenance period for the university’s Student Recreation Center.
The center’s annual closure for maintenance and training had been scheduled for 16 days next month, but has been reduced to 10 days to accommodate public use of its elevated, indoor walking and running track – a popular smoke-free haven over the past month. An average of 32 community members have used the track each evening since the university began offering free admission for two-hour windows each Sunday through Thursday. The facility’s popularity peaked at 73 users on Thursday.
The entire recreation center will be closed from Saturday through Monday of Labor Day weekend. The indoor track will resume its current public hours – from 6 to 8 p.m. daily, Sunday through Thursday – during the period between Labor Day and the maintenance closure (which will run from Monday, Sept. 10, through Wednesday, Sept. 19).
When it reopens following the closure on Thursday, Sept. 20, public hours for the indoor track will shift to 10 a.m. to noon daily, Monday through Saturday. There will be no public hours on Wednesday, Sept. 26, when the recreation center’s grand opening activities will be held.
SOU President Linda Schott has also invited community members to use other air-conditioned facilities on campus to escape this summer’s wildfire smoke. Facilities and hours of availability are:
The Stevenson Union has a variety of spaces that are available Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (SOU offers free Wi-Fi to visitors.)
- Dankook: SU Room 314.Located on the 3rd level of the student union, this space features soft chairs and couches.
- Game Room: SU Room 330.Located on the 3rd level, this space features soft furniture, video gaming, puzzles and board games.
- Elmo’s seating: Elmo’s Dining is closed, but Einstein’s Bagels and Coffee is open 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. This space on the union’s main floor features round tables, booths, and small conversation tables. There is one TV.
- Diversions (Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays only): Located on the basement level of the union, this space features tables, chairs, soft furniture and cable TV.
The Hannon Library is open during the summer from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday; and 1 to 9 p.m. Sunday. It is closed on Saturdays.