Feature Article - July 2007
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Special Supplement: Complete Guide to Sports & Recreation Surfaces

By Dana Carman

A good example of that prioritization was on the issue of whether or not to have a climbing wall. Many facilities are constructing climbing walls and Roberts had a climbing wall in mind for this facility, but the students were given a choice between a climbing wall and a game room and they chose the game room, which features billiards, table tennis and Dance Dance Revolution.

"The game room ended up being more important to the students than the climbing wall," Roberts said. "And it's very popular. I'm very happy with that decision." He noted that the Weinstein Center has really become the hub of student life on campus.

On the first level, Roberts chose carpet tiles. Since it's a highly trafficked area, the 2-foot-square tiles allow for easy sectional replacement. The fitness center is also spread out over the two levels with the first level featuring many cardio machines (some with their own monitors), a video wall (where multiple screens make one large screen) and additional 42-inch monitors. There's also a multipurpose room on the first floor for which Roberts chose a maple wood floor. "There's more spring to it," he said of that choice over a synthetic. In addition to yoga and Pilates classes, that room houses the Spinning classes, and so far, the floor has held up fine under all.

An atrium surrounds the second level, which houses the free weights part of the fitness center. Roberts chose a natural rubber interlocking tile surface for its durability, shock and noise absorption, and low maintenance. Again, the tile choice makes for easy sectional replacement.

The front of the building is all glass, and Roberts pointed out that when illuminated at night it glows and buzzes with activity. Near the glass is a huge stretching area—also covered by the carpet tiles—that overlooks the university.

Also on the second level is the other multipurpose room and three-court gym, both of which are surfaced with a wood floor. Roberts is a wood-floor fan as he feels it holds up longer and better and is the more suitable floor for competitive programs.

The center also features a 1/10-mile elevated track made from a rolled synthetic rubber surface that Roberts chose for its low maintenance, performance and durability.

Controlling access to campus buildings can be difficult. The Weinstein Center has a unique way of making sure those who are using the facility are entitled to do so. Rather than simple keycard access, the facility has a biometric hand reader. The first time a student uses the center, he or she is enrolled as a member. Access after that requires students to enter their school ID number and hand. If a student forgets her ID number, the staff can look it up, but access still requires having the hand that matches that number.

"In the past we've had problems with students losing ID cards, people tailgating in, or some handing their cards back to others," Roberts said. "The hand eliminates a lot of problems."

The Weinstein Center has been registered for LEED certification and at press time was working on the application process.

By the Numbers

The National Sporting Goods Association tracks participation in sports from year to year. As you're considering your surfacing options, you may be interested in the number of participants in some of the sports hitting those floors.

Here's how many people participated more than once in a particular sport during 2006:

Basketball: 26.7 million
Exercise with equipment: 52.4 million
Aerobic exercise: 33.7 million
Running or jogging: 28.8 million
Soccer: 14 million
Tennis: 10.4 million
Volleyball: 11.1 million
Weight-lifting: 32.9 million
Worked out at a club: 36.4 million

Source: National Sporting Goods Association, www.nsga.org