Guest Column - November 2007
Find a printable version here

Serving the Student Body

State-of-the-Art Fitness on Campus

By Curt Moody

Built with all in mind

Reaching beyond the sports-minded community, mixed-use campus fitness facilities can—and should—also be utilized by other members of the campus. Many colleges recommend or require students to supplement their academic course load with physical education classes, and faculty, staff and administration can also be avid users of campus fitness facilities. Oftentimes, the ladder to physical fitness can seem daunting to its climbers. However, an eye-catching, one-stop fitness area with stellar services may be the boost of encouragement they need to make it to the top.

Whether intended for competitive or recreational purposes, the planning and design of a new or refurbished university fitness facility must keep the students top-of-mind. My personal experience on the basketball team at The Ohio State University in the 1970s continues to provide invaluable insight, helping me to effectively identify with the needs and wants of students through architecture and design. Employing a solid knowledge of how quality equipment contributes to student athletes' success and appreciating how a facility should be mapped out for easy usage, among other factors, offers a unique perspective and helps keep the end-users in mind.

Modern fitness centers that feature juice bars with a full menu of refreshment choices and ample space for social interaction, in addition to state-of-the-art equipment and workout areas, are among the core components that are increasingly contributing to a "one-stop shop" for current or aspiring active-minded individuals—giving the phrase, "hitting the gym" new meaning on today's college campuses.


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