Few things open as winter break shuts down campus

Few things open as winter break shuts down campus

URBANA – Before she left Oregon to come to Illinois for the holidays, Linda Lee Drozt made sure she had a place to work out.

Drozt went to the Intramural Physical Education Building every day before she graduated from the University of Illinois last May, and because she wasn't sure what the conditions in Illinois would be for running outside, "I checked on the Web site before I left Oregon to make sure I'd have a place to go," she said.

Drozt, now a law student at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Ore., and her husband are visiting her parents in Homer. She plans to be at IMPE every day this week – one of the few places open on campus.

Not only are most UI students gone for winter break, there aren't many employees around either. The campus is virtually shut down this week.

Want to shoot some pool at the Illini Union? Good luck. The building is closed until Jan. 3.

Hope to stop in at the Intermezzo cafe at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts for a pastry? Also closed until the New Year.

With a few exceptions, all the buildings on campus are closed until Jan. 3. There's no mail delivery, no telephone operators, no Motorist Assist Program if your car won't start or you've locked yourself out.

Monday was the Christmas Day holiday for UI employees and today is also a designated holiday. Employees get a gift day Friday from the chancellor and president.

Wednesday and Thursday are reduced service days. They are not paid holidays for employees, but workers are encouraged to use vacation days. If employees choose to work, they can make arrangements to do so, including having someone let them into a locked building.

One thing you can do on campus this week is exercise – good news for everyone who overate in the last few days. IMPE is open through Saturday at reduced hours, and the Atkins Tennis Center is open through Friday. Walkers and runners can use the Armory track through Friday.

The libraries are open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, and McKinley Health Center is open today through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

And you can visit Krannert Art Museum on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Like Drozt, a number of people on campus Monday were visiting from somewhere else. Tom and Jim Siders came home to Champaign for the holidays, and the brothers were at Espresso Royale on Goodwin Avenue Monday afternoon.

Both are studying music, Tom at the University of Texas at Austin and Jim at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Many restaurants and coffee shops on campus are open, and the brothers were taking advantage of that, eating out and going to bars during their visit.

Carlos Ferguson of Grinnell, Iowa, was just passing through Champaign-Urbana when he stopped to have lunch and coffee at Espresso Royale. He and a friend in Kentucky often meet in Champaign.

"It's exactly halfway between Lexington and the town I live in right now," he said.

Ferguson planned to stop at Euromart before heading to Kentucky, then on to Rome for the New Year's holiday.

Craig Lindsey, a UI sophomore, is only traveling from Mahomet to work at IMPE this week. The building has been fairly empty since the middle of last week, he said, although several local residents are buying day passes to play basketball.

So, is there anything else to do on campus right now?

"Nothing comes to mind," Lindsey said.

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