Guest Column - September 2007
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Recruitment Gold

A Look at Student-Focused Facilities

By Curt Moody

Building for the future

A strategically designed recreation center is mutually beneficial for the student and the campus—providing students with state-of-the-art facilities while enhancing schools' future list of alumni and donors.

The RPAC (Recreation and Physical Activity Center) at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, is a prime example of an institution taking action on this knowledge. Designed specifically as a recruitment tool, the university's recently constructed student recreation center features well-developed areas and equipment to accommodate recreational and intramural sports programs such as stacked basketball courts, a climbing wall, indoor soccer fields, a fitness area, competition-size and leisure pools, a walking/running track, a lounge area and a juice bar. The facility also serves as a home for classrooms and labs that are PAES (Physical Activity and Education Services) academic spaces.

Boasting unlimited resources and ample area to socialize, the recreation center has become the focal point of activity on The Ohio State University campus and is also the first stop on the campus tour.

Additional evidence of "recruitment gold" can be found in Oklahoma State University's Colvin Recreation Center. Once an aging physical education facility, the center underwent comprehensive renovation and expansion—with careful attention being paid to match the updated building with the traditional, collegiate architecture style of the campus. With weight, fitness and multipurpose areas, a running track, a climbing wall, and an outdoor pool with zero-depth-entry beach and lazy river, the project successfully enhanced not only the services and programs offered, but also gave a facelift to the campus image. The transformed and picturesque facility is a must-see for any visitor.

Other campuses, including West Virginia University, Hampton University, Hocking College and Jackson State University, among others, utilize the same technique to recruit students. It's no secret: A fresh, modern facility portrays a college's ability to meet the dynamic needs of today's students.


Curt Moody is president and CEO of Moody-Nolan Inc., an architecture, interior design and civil engineering firm specializing in higher education, sports/recreation, healthcare and public service facilities. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Moody-Nolan is the largest minority-owned firm in the nation. For more information, visit