Functional & Sustainable Fitness

Universal Athletic Club in Lancaster, Penn., is no ordinary fitness club. Owner Rick Casselbury takes attention to service seriously, as well as sustainability. From installing the latest fitness equipment and software innovations to staffing the child fitness center or getting pickleball courts set up, Casselbury ensures his club is prepared to give members a top-notch experience.

Casselbury’s lifelong passion for fitness led him to buy Universal 30 years ago when it was a tennis and racquetball club. Today, the

Universal Athletic Club exterior view
Photos Courtesy of Ecore International

 multipurpose club features tracks, four swimming pools, five fitness rooms, studios, a full spa, a salon, basketball courts and more. 

“Our industry is changing all the time. If you’re not staying up with it, you’re falling behind,” said Casselbury. “The key is to upgrade with a passion and a purpose, and one of those is being positive stewards to the environment.” 

In fact, Casselbury and his team have installed more than 1,300 solar panels, variable speed pool pumps and LED lighting throughout the facility. “We want to set a good example by taking care of the environment, not only for my kids, but for everybody here,” Casselbury said. “And we have a lot of members who like the fact that they’re in a place that gives back.” 

When faced with needing a new floor in his weight and cardio area, Casselbury turned to Ecore International’s TRUcircularity Program. Casselbury’s products of choice for the nearly 11,000 square foot resurfacing project were FlexTurf Motivate in black and Basic Fit interlocking tiles in Buff Blue with an 8mm Vulcanized Composition Rubber (VCR) layer. Other areas of the club feature additional recycled flooring products from Ecore as well. 

For four decades, Ecore has been well-known in the flooring industry for recycling old tires and rubber floors and upcycling those materials into new high-performance flooring, diverting more than 300 million pounds annually from landfills. TRUcircularity takes this further by engaging customers to become an active participant in the recycling process.

a fitness room with equipment“This program is ideal for customers like Rick Casselbury who value the remarkable and renewable properties of rubber, want to keep it out of landfills, and see it transformed into high-performance surfaces that help people live healthier, safer and stronger lives,” said Art Dodge, CEO of Ecore. 

Casselbury agrees and added how simple the whole process was. “When they delivered the new rubber for the floor, they dropped off big bins for us to put the old rubber in. When we were done, we just wheeled it out to the parking lot, and they picked it up. The fact that they were able to do this from an owner standpoint was efficient and easy,” Casselbury said.

When Casselbury was looking for flooring for Universal’s new project, he also searched for products that deliver benefits such as durability, ergonomics and noise reduction. The challenge during the project was how to complete the installation during business hours while keeping the gym open and available to members. Installers went row by row, removing the old product and installing the new, moving equipment as they went along. “It’s amazing when members see you making improvements,” Casselbury said. “No matter if equipment is out of place, they jump in when they can with no complaints!”

“We welcome any and all companies to help us revolutionize the rubber recycling landscape by joining our TRUcircularity program,” said Dodge. “With partners like Rick and Universal Athletic Club who share our vision, we can transform the way end-of-life rubber is managed and turn it into a resource with infinite use and value. Together, we can make a significant difference in creating a planet free of rubber waste, while improving the performance and safety of the spaces where we live, work and play.”