This is part six of our series called “Campus Tales.” Everyone has a story, and so does every building on this campus. Read stories about NU’s campus buildings, in all kinds of shapes and forms – available in different genres for different locations.
Walking from Sheridan Road, one may first notice a huge yellow rectangular building, with a big purple N sign on the side. This modern building stands out from the surrounding, traditional-looking fraternity quad. The building is the Henry Crown Sports Pavilion, aka “SPAC,” a place bustling with motivated students who work out in their spare time.
The very first day I went to SPAC was during Wildcat Welcome, simply because my PA group decided to meet in front of the building. As a naïve freshman who couldn’t navigate the way through campus without Google Maps, I tried to look up SPAC. Yet the search was futile; the map couldn’t find “SPAC.” It took me some time to realize that SPAC’s full name was “Henry Crown Sports Pavilion and Aquatic Center,” and I would have to remember that if I wanted to find SPAC on the map. Once I finally located it, I realized how far away it was for someone who lived at the southern tip of campus like me. I almost immediately knew I wouldn’t go there to work out too often. Ironically, I ended up coming a handful of times – just not to run on treadmills or do other mundane (in my opinion) exercises. So here are some activities I’ve done at SPAC other than the basic gym work-out:
1. Racket sports
Fun fact for all racket sports lovers: SPAC has six indoor tennis courts, two racquetball courts and three squash courts. Personally, I’ve only been to the squash court, which is on the second floor. I barely knew the rules of squash, so I played it the way I play badminton (with help from my friend, who played squash in high school). For someone like me who thinks working out is extremely tedious and who doesn’t really know how to use any of the work-out equipment, squash was a fun way to de-stress and exercise at the same time.
The title may accidentally imply that I can dance, but in reality, I’m not a dancer at all. Still, I challenged myself to try. Last winter, I had the opportunity to visit the dance studios in SPAC to try out for the K-Pop dances in the KASA show (the Korean American Student Association’s annual cultural show). The studios were large and clean, with a mirror on at least one side of the room. Although at first the mirrors made me self-conscious, eventually they helped me face my mistakes and fix them as much as I could. The entire process was a difficult, yet memorable, experience, so now I will always remember the dance studios as a place that triggers nostalgia.
3. Champion sales
Spring Quarter of last year, SPAC held a Champion pop-up store for a couple days. A variety of Champion apparel, mostly discounted, was packed in a small room in the corner of SPAC. The tiny space was overflowing with people coming in and out, trying items on or contemplating whether to buy something or not. I remember getting a white hoodie for my brother, while my friend get himself a pair of new shoes. We advertised the sales to a lot of people so they wouldn’t miss out. If the event happens again this year, I hope no one who reads this misses out!
These are just three activities I have tried out at SPAC, and I definitely encourage all students to check the place out and try something new there as well. Admittedly, I haven’t gone there for a while, but I will definitely walk the 30 minutes from my house some time soon. My goal for next time is to try out the Peeled inside SPAC (and also hopefully work out)!