Arts, Review, Column

Move Over Plex, There’s a New Kid on the Block

Everyone felt like a freshman at the new Margot Connell Recreation Center, Boston College’s expansive four-story recreation complex that opened Tuesday. Students wandered around, curiously poking their heads in and out of the many rooms stocked with new weights, spin bikes, and TRX straps. Most students, used to the Flynn Recreation Complex’s sticky, rattling equipment and dusty fans, walked through the new, spotless facility in awe.

The experience is astronomically different from the typical visit to the Plex—upon entering, visitors are faced with a spacious lobby with floor-to-ceiling windows, a ping pong table, and leather chairs. The entire building is full of light, which floods in from all angles, bounces off the shiny, reflective metals, and glistens across the floor. 

Gym rats of all stripes can find what they need on the top three floors, which offer everything from treadmills to free weights. Each set of cardio equipment has a different view—one overlooks the pool, another the tennis courts. I’m sure there were plenty more hidden throughout the seemingly endless center.

Speaking of tennis, BC should have invested in a couple more courts—it’s hard to believe that the Plex had one more than the new center. Thankfully, the new courts are a little more secluded than the old ones, but three courts aren’t enough to support two varsity tennis teams.

Admittedly, some details of the new center feel over-the-top and aimed at aesthetics over functionality. The gym contains a huge rock climbing wall (why use this when you can scale the giant rock quarry between the Commonwealth Ave. garage and O’Neill Library?) and a golf simulator room (which can be used for an added fee, of course).

Out of all the features the new gym has to offer, the single most important one—for every person who ever set foot in the Plex, at least—is the central air conditioning. The lack of air circulation in the Plex was enough to make even the most committed athlete skip leg day, and when the giant warehouse doors were opened to let the humid summer air in, students had to brace themselves before entering the danger zone. There was practically a line to use that one treadmill in front of the giant fan. 

Although the temperature in the spotless facility still seemed a bit warm, it’s possible they kept it that way to spark some nostalgia. Maybe they wanted students to painfully reminisce the fleeting memories of torn yoga mats and the antique, rusted ellipticals. 

Some might mourn the loss of what may have been the architectural treasure of BC, with its majestic peaks and valleys filled with muddy snow. Others will likely wake up early just to watch the demolition of a BC classic. Incoming freshman just won’t know the struggles everyone else went through (they’ll never know how good they have it)—but whether you like it or not, one thing’s for certain: the Plex is out, and the Marge is in.

Featured Image by Celine Lim / Photo Editor

July 13, 2019