The UC Santa Barbara Recreation Center refurbished Fitness Center 2 — the workout room located in the Multi-Activity Court — at the start of Fall Quarter 2023, largely addressing the center’s issues of overcrowding.

The project added equipment to Fitness Center 2 (FC2), replaced older items and rearranged existing equipment in a new layout. New equipment include additional squat racks, olympic platforms and cable machines.

The remodel also implemented a hack squat machine and pendulum squat machine as alternatives to using the squat racks. 

Fitness Student Managers Sammy Blair, Claire Rouse and Ricky Avila worked closely with Assistant Director for Fitness, Wellness and Special Programs Brenda Lear on the project. 

“We have so many people who come into that gym on the daily,” fourth-year sociology major Blair said. “We just needed more equipment for everyone because there’s so many students.”

According to Lear, the project was largely student-driven, with Blair, Rouse and Avila majorly proposing the project components. 

“I’m immensely proud of the student leaders (Claire, Ricky & Sammy) who committed deeply to this project,” Lear said in an email statement to the Nexus. “I am thankful for their dedication and the opportunity to guide them through the entire process while keeping the student perspective and experience at the forefront.”

The motivation for the remodel followed the COVID-19 pandemic, after which FC2 was closed for three years due to ventilation and airflow issues. The extended closure intensified the Rec Cen’s significant overcrowding problems.

Since the new equipment was implemented, Blair said that the Recreation Center has been noticeably less crowded.

“When I go in there, it’s less crowded in general,” Blair said. “The feedback has been great; I’ve only heard good things from students.”

“​​I’m just happy that the Rec [Cen] is better for everyone, and it’s going to stay for a while. I’m happy we created this long-lasting change.”

A version of this article appeared on p. 3 of the Oct. 26, 2023, print edition of the Daily Nexus.


Alex Levin
Alex Levin (he/him) is the University News Editor for the 2023-24 school year. Previously, Levin was the Assistant News Editor for the 2022-2023 school year. He can be reached at