U.Va. facilities prepare to operate on altered schedules over break

Facilities seek to minimally impact users, allocate resources properly

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Several University facilities will be operating on an altered schedule over winter break.

Atman Soni | Cavalier Daily

As University facilities prepare to operate on altered schedules during the upcoming winter break, staff are seeking to minimally impact individuals who frequent the facilities while being able to accommodate needs for maintenance and holiday observance for employees. 

University libraries, the University Transit Service and University recreational facilities are three of the most popular groups of facilities utilized by the University community. All will be operating on altered schedules during the upcoming break. 

University libraries begin limited operating hours on Dec. 16, and all of them — with the exception of the Rotunda — will be fully closed from Dec. 23 to Jan. 2. Normal operating hours will resume on Jan. 17. 

University Transit Service buses will operate on holiday service during the first week of winter break and January Term and will operate on commuter service during the 11 days the University is not in session. 

Rebecca White, director of the University Department of Parking and Transportation, told The Cavalier Daily in an email that hospital employees will not be adversely affected by the change in the operational schedule. 

“We have around 900-1000 hospital employees riding every day,” White said. “The morning and afternoon [Stadium/Hospital Shuttle] schedule is the same every day no matter what the service package is so those employees are not impacted by holiday service.”

All four vans in the SafeRide fleet will be in full operation during winter break, with the exception of Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. White said that during breaks, SafeRide is often able to respond to student needs faster than UTS buses. 

“SafeRide will have normal operations,” White said. “SafeRide was able to provide a ride quicker than the 30-minute service provided by the ULoops and Northline during holiday night service.”

University recreational facilities are also running on limited hours during winter break. Memorial Gymnasium and Slaughter Recreation Center will be closed for the entirety of break, with the Aquatic and Fitness Center and North Grounds Recreation Center operating on modified schedules.

Jeramy Spitzer, assistant director of Facility Operations at University Intramural-Recreational Sports said that winter break provides a crucial chance to maintain facilities and to steward University resources in a careful manner. 

“We take those opportunities over those breaks to do maintenance and also just to be good stewards of University resources,” Spitzer said. “We’re always evaluating and looking at our usage patterns to be good stewards of our spaces.”

Spitzer said that while many student employees are away from the University over winter break, several remain in the area and work with full-time staff to operate facilities. Spitzer reiterated the idea that the reduction in hours was not due to a drop in available employees, but because of the chance for maintenance and wise resource allocation. 

“There are a good number of students who stay behind and are here over the holidays for a variety of reasons and we’re able to utilize them to operate our facilities,” Spitzer said. “We don’t have as many facilities open over a lot of the University breaks, and it’s less about not having the staff to cover them than it is about taking those opportunities to do maintenance for our facilities.”

The University recreational facilities website posts hours in advance, which allows students who are in the area at some point during break to be knowledgeable and plan their schedule accordingly. 

“Our hours are always posted at minimum a month in advance. The holiday hours have been posted since August,” Spitzer said. 

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