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Before a tour of Long Beach State’s three-year-old recreation center even began, associate director of recreation Sean Del Rossi alerted some 70 ABC attendees that they would later step into a “bizarro world” once the tour took them to the University of California-Irvine’s counterpart facility. In terms of programming layout, left would be right and vice versa.
But so much more differentiates the two facilities featured on Wednesday’s bus tour north from the Athletic Business Conference & Expo in San Diego. Long Beach’s center is almost clinical in appearance, with white walls accented with stark, larger-than-life graphics (a woman in a Yoga position, a basketball in the hands of a shooter) and abundant use of glass. A glass half-wall (resembling a hockey dasher treatment) separates the ground-floor fitness area from the multi-court gym space. A glass railing travels the circumference of the second-level jogging track, and heavy glass is found along the “most traveled hallway on campus” separating the gym from racquet courts and leading to a climbing wall toward the back of the building. There’s an unmistakable openness and energy about the building.
The feeling is quite different in Irvine, but no less welcoming. Earth tones dominate the entrance to UC-Irvine’s rec center, as does a lobby climbing wall (contrasting from the location of this amenity in Long Beach). Beige and burnished block walls and exposed hunter-green iron beams give the sensation of being in a modern ballpark concourse. An enormous outdoor pool deck featuring a barbeque and surrounded by lush foliage gives the impression of being at a high-end resort. A multi-activity court features the kind of soaring A-frame ceiling that one would expect to find in a retro basketball field house design. Jill Schindele, a 32-year veteran of the UC-Irvine rec department, introduced herself during lunch served in an expansive teaching kitchen, reflecting the university’s emphasis on wellness.
In the end, ABC tourists got a taste of two distinct approaches to rec center design. Neither bizarro, necessarily. Just different. And both impressive in their own way.
Like many college recreation professionals, staff members from the University of Missouri's rec department, MizzouRec traveled to the Athletic Business Conference & Expo in San Diego last week. However, unlike many college recreation professionals, MizzouRec's staff road-tripped more than 1,800 miles to get there.
Follow along as we posted daily updates from Diane Dahlmann, Carrie Steuber and Emily Bach as they documented their four day journey #ABCSanDiego and the excitement of the event once they arrived.
|Day 4: Wednesday, November 20, 2013
San Diego, CA
|Day one at the Athletic Business Conference & Expo is always a fun one. The seminars, keynote and trade show don't begin until Thursday, but Wednesday features the ABC Golf Classic, hands-on workshops and facility tours.
ABC attendees and exhibitors hit the links at Coronado Municipal Golf Course.
This year, attendees had two different tour options to choose from. Our friends from Missouri chose the tour that visited the McGrath Family YMCA and the U.S. Olympic Training Center.
First up was the 35,000 square-foot YMCA which opened just three years ago, but has already expanded to serve more members. This facility has a state-of-the-art aquatic center as well as a softball facility and an indoor soccer arena.
|The second stop was Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista. The OTC provides everything athletes need to train including food services, sports medicine, biomechanics, strength and conditioning and more. The facility features facilities for archery, BMX, field hockey, rowing, rugby, and track and field.
"The Olympic Center was an amazing experience,"
Bach said. "We got to meet members of the rugby team hopefuls." Rugby will be a new addition to the next summer Olympics.
|The Athletic Business Conference tours are not only a chance to sight see, but for facility managers and operators, they can serve as a valuable learning tool. You never know what great idea might be sparked by something seen at another facility. As one attendee put it, "Facility tours are the best part of the whole conference. I can get many ideas from a couple hours in a great facility."|
|With the business portion of the day in the books, Emily, Carrie and Diane set out for a little fun. Of course no trip to San Diego is complete without visiting the beautiful and historic Hotel del Coronado on Coronado Island.|
|Day 3: Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Sedona, AZ — San Diego, CA
Miles Logged: 463
|7:00 am: The crew from the University of Missouri awoke and once again hit the road bright and early, but not before capturing the sunrise in beautiful Sedona.
Day three turned out to be the shortest leg of the trip, "only" 463 miles. However, it was filled with plenty of action. Diane, Carrie and Emily encountered everything from prisons to aliens.
|The first stop of the day came nearly 300 miles after leaving Sedona when the MizzouRec staff stopped at the historic Yuma Territorial Prison. From 1876 until 1909, the prison held more than 3,000 prisoners. In pop culture the prison was made famous the by the western movie, 3:10 to Yuma.|
|Just beyond Yuma, the group stopped for a picture at the Mexican border.|
|After the stop at the border is where things started to get weird. As anyone who has taken a road trip knows, you never know just what you're going to see along the way. In the case of our friends from Mizzou, they ran into what appears to be aliens in the California desert!|
|And if you look closely in the window of this RV, you can see for yourself.|
Fortunately, these aliens were friendly and the Mizzou crew was on their way to San Diego in no time. Around 4:00 pm, they officially arrived, marking the end of a 1,722 mile journey. Today, they're attending the Athletic Business Conference facility tours of the McGrath Family YMCA and the Olympic Training Center.
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