RECENT ARTICLES
  • Blog: Bridging the Generation Gap in Your Rec Center

    by Stephen Springs March 2017

    If you’ve been following my series of posts about factors that are changing the form and function of recreation centers, you’ll recall I’ve covered the importance of holistic planning, the impact of sharing spaces and the drive for self-sufficiency.

  • Blog: Southeast Recreation Facility Core Design Values

    by John Horn February 2017

    You’re about to sit down and design a university recreation center. But where do you start?

    With the Southeast Recreation Facility (SERF), we felt the best place to start was to create a list of our core design values by holding discussions with our key stakeholders. This included our own staff, students (lots and lots of students), paying members, intercollegiate athletics (for the competition pool), and the community. We have used the list below as a guide in every design workshop to make sure we keep our values and priorities aligned.

  • Blog: Can Recreation Centers Be Entirely Self-Sufficient?

    by Stephen Springs February 2017

    The past 20 years have seen massive changes in the recreation facility planning and design process. As an architect, it is my job to help devise solutions to this accelerated pace of change on a daily basis.

  • Blog: Educating Community on Our Stadium Project

    by Valerie Little, Associate AD - McKinney ISD January 2017

    Editor’s note: In May 2016, voters approved a bond package that allowed the McKinney (Texas) Independent School District to construct a multi-million-dollar high school football stadium. Construction on the project began in December 2016, and is expected to be complete in late 2017. Valerie Little, Associate AD for McKinney ISD, will be providing an exclusive inside look at coordinating the effort.

    Well, the stadium is finally making progress. We can see an aerial view of the outline of the building from our drone, and this week construction crews will drill the large piers, which will form the base of our athletic building.

  • Blog: Sharing Recreation Space with Other Programs

    by Stephen Springs January 2017

    In a previous post, I explained one of the top seven factors that are changing the form and function of recreation centers: holistic planning

    In this post, I'll discuss a second factor at play in planning and designing facilities, and that is programming and services. Forward-thinking planners are developing strategies for sharing services under the same roof, eliminating redundancies in current options and providing new opportunities that might otherwise not be possible in a single facility.

    Among the increasingly popular options are merging recreation centers and senior centers into multigenerational facilities, using the same spaces to create multiple-use facilities, and combining traditionally independent services, such as police operations and recreation programming.

  • Blog: How Holistic Planning Became the Rock of Rec Center Design

    by Stephen Springs December 2016

    As we enter 2017, the distance between the field house template and the community recreation center seems further than ever. And as battles over facility space vs. green space intensify in active communities such as Palm Beach, Fla. — and when revenue from local (and legal) marijuana sales in Aurora, Colo., might be earmarked for a new community recreation center — you know the planning and design process is still dramatically evolving. 

  • Blog: Creating Buy-In for $70M McKinney ISD Stadium

    by Valerie Little, Associate AD - McKinney ISD December 2016

    Editor’s note: In May 2016, voters approved a bond package that allowed the McKinney (Texas) Independent School District to construct a multi-million-dollar high school football stadium. Construction on the project began in December 2016, and is expected to be complete in late 2017. Valerie Little, Associate AD for McKinney ISD, will be providing an exclusive inside look at coordinating the effort.

    There are several foundational philosophies we as a district have relied upon to overcome some of the early challenges in this project. Now, despite all the negative media attention the McKinney (Texas) ISD has gotten for our new stadium project, the excitement in our community is palpable. 

  • Blog: Approvals, Design and Construction of a Rec Field Project

    by John Horn December 2016

    You’ve got approval to do a major field project, now what?

    The joy of receiving approval to do a major project on our campus quickly turned to tribulation when we learned of the necessary procedural steps to deliver this project to students. As much as we wanted to complete design and stick shovels in the ground, getting to that point involves an enormous commitment of time, people and approvals. In previous blog entries, we focused on goals within the project, but this entry will focus on process and steps taken before finally breaking ground, as well as updating you on our current progress towards substantial completion.

  • What Role Should Social Equity Play in Facility Planning?

    by Stephen Springs November 2016

    This month, I will conclude my exploration of the ways in which the National Recreation and Park Association’s three pillars can be incorporated into the facility design process. Conservation was first, followed by health and wellness. Now comes social equity.

  • Designing Health and Wellness Space Into Rec Centers

    by Stephen Springs October 2016

    Last month, I wrote about ways in which the National Recreation and Park Association’s three pillars can be incorporated into the facility design process. Conservation was first; next, we’ll highlight design opportunities for health and wellness, NRPA’s second — and arguably most urgent ­­— pillar.