This is a content holder for the one button emergency notification system.

COVID 19: Thornburg Fitness Center Opening and Implementation Plan

Start Date

Stage 0 (“Soft Opening”}:  Faculty / Staff only – to allow training and implementation of protocols.  Monday, August 31, 2020* Stage 1: Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020

*NOTE – following state guidelines, pre-conditions are necessary for the opening of the facility

  • Plexiglass installed at both the front desk of Tinsley as well as the Thornburg Fitness Center or face shields provided to student employees
  • Informational and directional signage installed
  • Adequate PPE is on hand for student employees and professional staff. 
  • Adequate cleaning supplies, including both sanitizing wipes/spray and misting disinfecting sprayers
  • Adequate and functional HVAC system


Stage Zero and Stage One hours: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday,10 a.m-6:30 p.m. This abridged schedule will allow for an additional two days to perform staff training and extra cleaning and sanitizing as well as to allow us to refine and improve upon the myriad of new and untested operating policies and procedures.

Stage Two hours: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Continues to allow for extra cleaning/sanitizing and additional training.

Stage Three hours (onward): resume regular hours: Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, 6 a.m.-10:30 p.m.; Thursday, 6 a.m.-8:30 p.m.; Friday, 6 a.m.-6:30 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Sunday, 12 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Additional days and expanded hours based upon usage data and risk management guidelines.


Students, faculty and staff will need to register for an annual membership online as they have in previous years.

Once in the system, members can then reserve a time slot for each workout. All workouts performed in the TFC will be by reservation.

Time slots will be 60 minutes each but will be followed by 30 minutes of cleaning and disinfecting by professional and student staff. Therefore, time slots are spaced 90 minutes apart. Prior to gaining access to both Thornburg and Tinsley, participants will be required to check in at the control desks and be tracked using our DSE Rec Software and BSU’s Safe-uSwipe system.

Safety Standards

The state of Massachusetts has issued mandatory safety standards and recommended best practices for fitness centers and health clubs, including spacing of equipment, cleaning and mask protocol. Thornburg will adhere to every state-issued standard and practice. 

  • Safe on Campus Checklist: The Commonwealth’s Safe on Campus Checklist applicable to fitness centers and athletics facilities will be completed prior to re-opening.
  • Floor Plan: The floor plan of Thornburg has been altered dramatically whereby equipment and workout zones or pods are spaced 14 ft apart from each other. Exercisers must perform all activity within their zones or pods.
  • Masks: In support of the University’s protocol of required masks in all public places, fitness center users will be required to use masks while involved in strenuous exercise activities. Student employees will always be required to wear masks.
  • Temperature Checks: Temperature checks and symptom surveys will be conducted prior to access to the Thornburg Fitness Center.
  • Personal Sanitation: A handwashing station, with soap and running water, is available in Thornburg along with 6 or more hand-sanitizing stations.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting: As outlined above, the fitness center will be closed for 30 minutes after each hour of operation for thorough cleaning and disinfecting using both spray and aerosol disinfection equipment.
  • Ventilation: State guidelines require "adequate ventilation for indoor spaces." Therefore, any significant HVAC malfunctioning will require the immediate closure of the TFC and/or Tinsley gymnasium.


We will employ a phased-in capacity protocol:

  • Stage Zero: Capacity limited to 16 users (plus staff) during any one 60-minute reservation slot.
  • Stage One: Pending successful Stage Zero opening, capacity increased to 20 users (plus staff) during any one 60-minute reservation slot.
  • Stage Two: Capacity modifications to be determined.


In order to create more capacity for members, approximately 15 cardiovascular machines have been moved into the Tinsley gymnasium. This will be considered a separate location that can be reserved using the same reservation program as in Thornburg. The Tinsley gymnasium location will be phased in at some point during Stage One or Stage Two.

Student Employment

Thornburg and Tinsley will rely heavily upon a student workforce to ensure a safe and enjoyable environment. Contained within the state's best practices guidelines is the requirement that all activity areas be monitored to ensure member compliance and adequate disinfection in between users. In general, staffing needs will increase due to these guidelines and students interested in on-campus employment should visit the Student Employment webpage.

Student employees will be required to wear masks at all times.

Updated 1/9/2021