At the 2017 NIRSA Conference, Dan Sullivan, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, spoke about the trend towards integration of Student Recreation Facilities with additional student life amenities.

The idea of a comprehensive student life recreation facility has risen in popularity over the past decade.  Colleges and universities across the country continue to find innovative ways to incorporate services into one-stop-shopping facilities that fit the needs of their students.  Schools and students have unique needs, which means there is no one-size-fits-all program. The common thread is that these buildings are morphing traditional recreation centers into hubs of campus life, and creating new connections to meet student interests and achieve institutional goals.

Students still want and need a place to work out, but more often these facilities’ names include “wellness,” “activity,” “student life” or “commons” to refer to the multi-faceted nature of the activities within. Universities are embracing the connection between a healthy mind, body and spirit and student interest is rising in services traditionally only found in the campus union.  Additionally, college recreation centers have served as host for many events not directly related to fitness: blood drives, campus fundraisers, dances and even exams.  So, it is a natural progression to rethink the programming of new recreation centers to accommodate how the buildings are actually being used.

Using real life examples, Dan illustrated the both the benefits enjoyed by students as well as the financial and operational benefits for institutions.

To download Dan’s full presentation, click here: More Than a Rec Center