Rowing team awaits new training room

The current rowing room has several issues, including a lack of mirrors.

Lora Pabst

After several months of delay, the debate over storm water runoff at the new rowing facility site is finally on its way to being resolved.

However, the women’s rowing team is still crammed into a restrictive training room in Mariucci Arena for winter practice.

Rowing coach Wendy Davis said the room that holds the team’s 18 rowing machines would ideally have only 10 to 12 machines. The team has to practice in three shifts in order to accommodate about 60 rowers.

The men’s hockey team also uses the room for weight training, which creates scheduling conflicts.

Katie Biese, a senior on the rowing team, said there are several issues with their winter training room, citing that the room doesn’t have mirrors for the rowers to watch themselves in.

“A lot of rowing is looking at yourself and making self-adjustments,” she said. “There’s also very little room to walk between the machines.”

Davis said some of the players bump into each other while practicing.

“These are potential future Olympians and they have to worry about bumping arms when they practice,” she said.

Several University officials have been trying to advance the rowing facility because of the issues the delays create for the team.

Orlyn Miller, director of planning and architecture for Capital Planning and Project Management, called for a meeting between the city of Minneapolis, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and the University to resolve the stormwater issue that has delayed groundbreaking.

The city, park board and the University reached an agreement in which the University only has to deal with the stormwater runoff created by the building. Previously, they were required to deal with stormwater runoff from a pipe that would be disturbed during construction of the building.

Miller said adjustments had to be made to the architectural plans to reflect the change, but they are expecting official signoff from the city on the changes in a few days.

“I believe it might be a possibility to do some of the utility work early,” Miller said. “The contractor is determining right now whether there will be additional costs.”

Davis said it would be worth a little extra expense to start construction in late winter.

The team still has been successful, despite their lack of a permanent training facility, she said.

Megan Stuhlfaut, a senior on the rowing team, said the new facility will contain rowing tanks for the team to practice in.

“When we get those tanks, watch out,” she said.

Stuhlfaut said the team has been disappointed by the delays in the past, but they are confident the building will be finished.

“I know there are people that want it and they’ll push for it,” she said.