Girls’ locker room sauna closed without warning for indefinite time period

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Feba George | The Ticker

Amanda Salazar

The sauna in the bathroom of Baruch College’s girls locker room, located on the first floor of the Athletic Recreation Center, has been closed indefinitely, according to staff members who work in the fitness center and the athletics department.

The shutdown occurred over the summer, so it was closed by the time students returned to campus during the last week of August. 

There was no sign on the sauna’s glass door or on the wall next to it stating that it was closed, just a lock on the door and the lights inside were shut off.

No emails, texts or phone calls were made to notify students of when this happened, resulting in several Bearcats being shocked when they went to the locker room with the intention of using the sauna after a workout in Baruch’s fitness center.

“I finished a workout and I went back to the locker room,” said senior Autumnrose Vargas.

“I said, ‘Alright, I’m gonna go to the sauna for, like, 30 minutes to sweat everything else out,’ and I saw just a padlock.”

Vargas added, “And sometimes the sauna’s closed, so I just went to ask, and I was like, ‘Oh, do you know when the sauna’s gonna be open?’ I asked the front desk people and they were like, ‘It’s closed indefinitely.’”

Vargas, a corporate communications major, was an avid user of the school’s sauna, having used it around twice a week in past semesters.

She found the sauna closed during the first week of the current semester.

“I started at Baruch in, like, Spring 2018 and I used the sauna a lot. It was like my only purpose in going to the Baruch gym, because the gym itself is not that top quality, but I thought the sauna was a really cool part of the gym,” she said. “I’ve never seen a school that had a sauna.”

According to Vargas, the reason it had been closed, as per what the fitness center workers told her, was due to a general lack of cleanliness and the presence of water bugs.

While The Ticker was not able to confirm if the sauna or locker room really did have water bugs, the student workers at the front desk of the fitness center said that it was closed due to malfunctions.

Associate Athletic Director for Administration and Finance Erin Pomykala was unable to be reached for comment on the topic.

When spoken to by The Ticker on the subject of the sauna, Assistant Athletic Director John Neves said that he is unsure when or if the sauna will reopen, though it has not been confirmed whether the sauna really is closed permanently.

For students who enjoyed using the sauna, this is an unfortunate and disappointing situation.

“I’m pretty sad, because I already have a gym membership and gym memberships with saunas are really expensive, like any of the gyms that offer saunas are so much and I already pay for tuition and my gym membership, so it was really nice to have it in school and really convenient,” Vargas said. 

“It’s just an inconvenience, like, I’m upset. I wish we still had the sauna. That was like a really cool thing to have in the school.”