Women’s New Locker Rooms Open with Honor

Luís Escobar, contributor

As Si Melby Hall approaches its 50th anniversary, staff and generous donors at Augsburg made the much needed remodeling of the women’s locker rooms possible this summer, which has been accompanied with a name dedication and met with excitement from its athletes. 

Before the remodeling and reconstruction of the women’s locker rooms in Si Melby Hall, many athletes exclaimed that it was in drastic need of improvement. There was a severe limitation on space, so much so that sports teams could not store their equipment within the shared space. For example, the softball team was unable to store any of their equipment (including clothes and bats) within locker rooms during the soccer season due to overcrowding. Others reported a severe lack of quality ventilation; Athletes suffered allergic reactions, respiratory illness and made note of a lingering smell that persisted over the seasons. Communal showers led to student athletes feeling unsafe and had bugs constantly entering through cracks in tiles or walls. 

The renovations attempt to address all concerns that student athletes had before. The Womens Wrestling locker rooms now include small cubbies to lock their valuables, giving personal belongings an extra layer of security. All team locker rooms are required to be accessed not just by fob but by padlock to prevent any sort of theft and retain privacy. Amenities such as a TV and a fridge for food and ice storage have also been added. Another student brought up the removal of communal showers, now replaced with bathrooms and private single showers.  

As much as students love the new locker rooms, the transition has come with obstacles. Within one of the showers in the women’s locker room, a fire alarm has been constantly set off from the steam. The building has been evacuated numerous times, and athletes are getting tired of the fire alarm being a daily occurrence.

The Women’s Soccer team utilized the transition as an opportunity to establish a space to honor the late Claudia Murray. On Sept. 10, the Women’s Soccer team came together to unveil a locker display and shadow box of her jersey and photos of her on the field after a ribbon cutting ceremony. In addition to the permanent display, the team has named its locker room after Murray and brings one of her jerseys with them to games. 

Overall, the consensus on the remodeling of the new locker rooms has been very positive, as athletes feel their voices and complaints have been heard by administration. First-year women’s wrestler Maia Foster shared that she felt the locker rooms are more organized. “Definitely more spacious, you feel like you are in a more professional setting and not just a high school locker room anymore,” Foster said.