College Planning & Management

MAY 2013

College Planning & Management is the information resource for professionals serving the college and university market. Covering facilities, security, technology and business.

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INTERIORS PHOTOS © GAYLE BABCOCK OUTFITTING STUDENT REC CENTERS While it's true that demand for student rec centers comes from students, it's also true that they benefit the campuses on which they're built. By "W flexibility. "It's a recurring theme," says Bill Massey, AIA, LEED-AP, principal of Sports Practice in Sasaki Associates' Watertown, MA, office. In fact, his firm has seen it in both the planning and post-occupancy phase. It only makes sense, as trends change so rapidly. Another commonly requested space is a Multipurpose Athletic Court (MAC). It is essentially the same size and shape as a gym, but with the flexibility to be used for sports like indoor soccer and roller hockey and equipped with dasher boards to prevent objects from projecting out. "MACs are always on the wish Space for Getting Physical What are students requesting inside list, and we're seeing those get triggered more and more now," says Massey. their rec centers? "By far the numberOf course, often placed over gymnaone demand is for fitness space," says Colleen McKenna, Assoc. AIA, LEED-AP, siums are indoor jogging tracks. They're still requested, although now they are associate principal in the Boston office of Cannon Design. This includes cardio, including a rise and fall in elevation. For example, Radford University's (VA) strength training, and weight training Fitness/Wellness Center, which is under equipment, along with both personal construction, has a jogging track that and small group training. runs between two floors, rising and fallThe key word regarding multiing 15 ft. in elevation. purpose rooms is, as McKenna notes, HEN YOU CONSIDER STUDENT RECREATION centers through their history, the desire for their services and programs has always come from students," says Pam Watts, executive director of Corvallis, OR-based NIRSA: Leaders in Collegiate Recreation. "It is that desire that results in facilities. In addition, the rec center is going to continue to be an important part of campus life as more and more employers ask higher education to develop soft skills in addition to hard skills." 50 COLLEGE PLANNING & MANAGEMENT / MAY 2013 ELLEN KOLLIE Interestingly enough, synthetic turf for the flooring is being used more and more in student rec centers. Interesting because it's usually found in fieldhouses. "It's a durable material," says Jack Patton, AIA, LEED-AP, principal with the Des Moines office of RDG Planning & Design. It's common to put floor drains under it so that it can be sprayed to safely remove bacteria. Vermont's Middlebury College will soon begin construction on a fieldhouse that boasts a 200-meter NCAA track and features more than 20,000 sq. ft. of athletic turf. It will allow all athletic teams to practice indoors during inclement weather and provide a multipurpose space to accommodate recreational, intramural, and campus and community functions. Other physical recreation spaces are still being requested, including swimming pools, climbing walls, and squash and racquetball courts. And McKenna is noting a movement toward the ability to rent equipment for outdoor pursuits, such as kayaking and camping. WWW.PLANNING 4EDUCATION.COM

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