Three Considerations for the Forward-Thinking Recreation Center

Three Considerations for the Forward-Thinking Recreation Center

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

As campus recreation experts, our team is constantly examining up-and-coming trends in recreation center design and implementing them in strategic, forward-thinking ways for our clients.  Here are a few of the biggest trends our experts believe are here to stay.

  1. Flexible Fitness Spaces Keep You Agile

Whether it takes the form of multipurpose rooms, an outdoor fitness deck, or simply some free space on your training floor, allocating space for flexible fitness areas is a must.  Resisting the temptation to fill your space with cardio and weight equipment pays dividends in the long run.  Not only does it provide additional space for users to spread out during extraordinary circumstances like the COVID-19 pandemic, but it allows you recreation center to continually change and adapt service offerings to best serve your patrons.  The Outdoor Fitness Balcony we recently designed at Dixie State University provides a unique environment for students to exercise and dedicating flexible, open space will certainly be a staple in recreation centers going forward.

  1. Leisure Swimming for the Win

Though aquatic centers will remain a sought-after amenity for years to come, we encourage reimagining how to best leverage your pool’s appeal to all patrons.  In recent years, there has been more emphasis on and demand for leisure pools in place of traditional lap swimming or competition pools.  These “rectangular” pools are essential for athletic events, but they can be home to more creative programming when not used for training or races.  Diverse aquatic programming could include water fitness classes, paddleboard yoga, slacklining over water, kayaking, and lifesaving courses.  Outfitting and utilizing your existing aquatic space to cater to new fitness trends and the interests of your patrons will ensure optimal usage of your facilities.

  1. Big Data and Technology Tells All

Big data is changing the world as we know it, driving in-depth analysis and smart decision-making across industries.  Campus recreation is not immune to such innovation, and in fact, can benefit enormously from collecting and managing large amounts of data.  Gathering reliable data from your user base, including their expectations and desires for their recreation experience, can help guide decisions on how to best utilize flexible fitness spaces, aquatic centers, and more.  Leveraging data from surveys, mobile apps, scheduling apps, and the like can help you make informed decisions regarding staffing, space reservations/rentals, facility usage, and marketing.  Transforming big data into actionable data can help gain insight into how your facility or its operations can be changed for the better.

Contact Erik Kocher at ekocher@hcarchitects.com or (314) 529-4004 to find out how our recreation experts can take your facility to the next level.