Feature Article - September 2006
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Special Report:
Recreation Managementís First Annual State of the Industry Report

Our First Annual Recreation Forecast

Recreation + Higher Education = Success

There is a strong movement toward cementing the relationship between collegiate recreational sports and the goals of higher education in general. The notion that some administrators have of recreational programming being just a "nice perk" for college students is not only outdated but does a tremendous disservice to those very students that a college or university wants to become educated, engaged, happy, productive members of society.

The bottom line is: Moving forward, the most successful collegiate rec sports departments are going to be those that best align themselves with the goals of their administrations; that work across departments to educate the whole student; and that incorporate standards and assessment tools when making their cases for more money, more staff, better facilities and more respect for the important role they play in shaping students' lives.

Katherine Otten
Assistant Director of Marketing for the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association

Collegiate Sports and Recreation Venues

First, there are very few schools with an adequate number of sports and recreation fields; instead, many have aging athletic facilities and limited real estate. Therefore, there is a great need to maximize space and versatility, especially with the rising costs of construction.

One example in particular is at Chapman University in Orange, Calif., where we are designing a unique hybrid athletic stadium, aquatic complex and inter-collegiate facility. The benefits of the project stem from the tremendous economy of combining these programs into one unified facility. This includes an A-shaped stadium with seating on both sides of the structure that faces the field on one side and the 50-meter pool on the other with locker room facilities, athletic offices, meeting rooms and classroom space. The project also includes the construction of an adjacent below-grade parking structure with a synthetic turf field on top to maximize the durability usage for the university and its limited field space.

In addition to a very dynamic building section, the economy of space, money and mechanical infrastructure resulting from this mixed use led to a 10 percent to 15 percent savings of square footage and construction costs. In this case it probably equated to $2 million.

James C. Braam, AIA
Senior Project Designer
Cannon Design