The National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) recently recognized nine new or refurbished collegiate sports facilities as part of its 2017 NIRSA Awards.
The Student Recreation and Wellness Center at the University of Missouri St. Louis (UMSL) and the Aggie Recreation Center at Utah State University (USU) were among the recipients of NIRSA’s Outstanding Sports Facilities Awards, which commend the “innovative designs of new, renovated, or expanded collegiate recreational facilities of NIRSA Member Institutions,” according to NIRSA. There are more than 5,000 NIRSA members across the United States.
“This is a great honor for UMSL, as it shows that the effort put into the planning and design for this building did not go unnoticed,” Yvette Kell, UMSL’s director of campus recreation, said in a report by UMSL Daily. “Those who planned for this facility and saw it through from conception to opening are the ones who deserve the praise this award brings.”
UMSL's Student Recreation and Wellness Center was designed by CannonDesign and features a 155,000-gallon pool, three basketball courts and a climbing wall.
“These awards and recognition underscore the high-quality, collaborative effort put forth by everyone involved in designing and constructing this wonderful facility for our students,” James Morales, USU vice president for student affairs, said in a public statement.
Morales noted that USU's LEED Gold-certified Aggie center, designed by HOK, has registered visits by at least 50 percent of its total student population since opening in November 2015. (That’s compared to a national average of 15 to 20 percent.) More than 137,000 visits came last fall alone, USU's statement said.
“It’s so unique and big, especially coming from the field house,” USU student Hanah Nickerson said in the statement. “I think just walking in you can see that it’s an inviting environment. It is nice. I like to work out here because we have the space, we have the equipment and the resources that we need, and I think it’s definitely eye-catching.”
In selecting award recipients, NIRSA’s three main criteria are: architectural design, functionality and how well a facility meets its intended purpose. To be considered, facilities must have been constructed or renovated between December 2014 and October 2016. Projects should also be valued at or above $2 million.
Award-winning institutions receive plaques, while architects receive spires and additional collaborators receive certificates.
“Winning facilities are considered a standard by which other collegiate recreational facilities should be measured, and from which others can benefit,” according to NIRSA.net.
The full list of award winners is below, including facility name, university name and architect name:
University Recreation Center
James Madison University
Architects: Moseley Architects, Hastings+Chivetta Architects
Campus Recreation Center
Northern Kentucky University
Student Recreation & Wellness Center
Architect: Worley Associates Architects
Leonard J. Kaplan Center for Wellness
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Architects: Walter Robbs Callahan & Pierce, RDG Planning & Design
Student Recreation Center
University of California, Riverside
Intramural Sports Building
University of Michigan
Architects: RDG Planning & Design, Integrated Design Solutions
Student Recreation and Wellness Center
University of Missouri St. Louis
Centre for Athletics, Recreation and Special Abilities
University of Victoria