RECENT ARTICLES
  • How to Plan for Future Campus Rec Facility Expansion

    by Colleen McKenna April 2014

    When contemplating aging facilities, architects and facility operators across the country often ask the same question: "What were they thinking? There is no room to expand!"

  • Successful Project Design Borne of Strong Relationships

    by Ralph Agostinelli April 2014

    School and sports administrators embarking on their first-ever capital project are sometimes surprised to learn how much architecture firms resemble other types of corporations. From the moment the architect steps in front of the building committee, making a pitch while brandishing renderings in watercolor, the image is of the architect as artist, driving this misreading of design firms.

  • College Rec Race: Then and Now

    by Super User April 2014

    In the April issue of Athletic Business, we took a look at how current trends in college recreation compared to those 15 years ago, when AB teamed up with architectural firm RDG of Des Moines, Iowa, to address design and operation needs. Check out the full article here.

    Demand for recreation and fitness spaces has only increased since 1999, and colleges have been struggling to keep up. After more than 30 years of falling behind, students at the University of Wisconsin voted 12,070 to 1,914 to approve a segregated fee increase that will fund a $223 million renovation of its facilities. Below is a breakdown of how their current amenities compare to their Big Ten counterparts.

     

    Click the chart below to compare how space for fitness is currently allocated in facilities across the Big Ten:

     

    Universities haven't been sitting idle these past few years. Check out this rundown of the major campus rec construction in the Big Ten: 

     

     

     


     

  • Wisconsin Students OK Rec Facility Overhaul in Landslide

    by Michael Gaio March 2014

    A $223 million plan to upgrade the University of Wisconsin-Madison's lagging recreational sports facilities passed in a landslide student vote that ended Wednesday, the Wisconsin State Journal reports.

  • Blog: Contract at Your Own Risk

    by Ralph Agostinelli March 2014

    Online continuing education courses have become a regular part of my life thanks in part to the New Jersey legislature, which passed a law setting down ongoing professional competency requirements for professional engineers licensed there. Recently, I took a course on change orders — work that is added to or deleted from the original scope of a contract — the gist of which seemed to be, “How to make sure you [that is, engineers] don’t get hit with a claim for negligence because you didn’t design something properly.”

  • Gym Flooring Repurposed in Iowa State Renovation

    by Paul Steinbach February 2014

    Photos by Kun Zhang/Dimension ImagesThe renovation and expansion of Iowa State University’s historic State Gym involved the removal from the existing gym of 13,850 square feet of maple flooring that was nearing the end of its useful life as a basketball court. Roughly half of that flooring was refurbished and repurposed as millwork in the new addition, spread throughout the facility in such structural elements as benches, cubbies, control desks and wall cladding along a juice bar. “We knew we were going to have to take it out, just because of all the other renovation aspects that were happening, and it just seemed a shame to toss it out,” says project architect Marty Miller of RDG Planning & Design. “So we started thinking about ways that we could use it. We did have to use some new maple, just so that we could trim out exposed edges.” The reclamation was just one small but highly visible part of a broader sustainable design that helped the ISU project achieve LEED Platinum certification — the largest collegiate recreation facility in the nation to do so.

     

  • Sustainable Renovation: A Question of Return on Investment

    by Andrew Barnard February 2014

    The decision to renovate an existing building can be driven by many factors. Its age, location, relationship to other buildings, or historical significance may each exert enough influence to call for renovation rather than replacement. However, as with most building projects, cost and schedule considerations likely outweigh all others. 

  • New Projects: Missouri-St. Louis | MSU | Fort Walton Beach

    by Emily Attwood February 2014

    BREAKING GROUND
    The University of Missouri-St. Louis (above) has begun construction of a new $36 million recreation and wellness center. Located just south of the student center, the 94,000-square-foot facility will include a three-court gymnasium, a swimming pool, training rooms and an elevated jogging track. The center, designed by St. Louis-based Cannon Design, is expected to be completed by fall 2015.

  • Making Tracks a Focal Point of Recreation Center Design

    by James Braam January 2014

    A common objective when designing recreation centers is to showcase the activity inside the building to passersby and to visitors as they enter the building's lobby. And yet one of the least-utilized components of recreation centers to be given such visibility is one of the most active of all: the walking/jogging track.

  • New Projects: Nippert Stadium | Agoura Hills Rec | Almont Park

    by Emily Attwood December 2013

    Breaking Ground

    A renovation and expansion of the University of Cincinnati's Nippert Stadium (above) kicks off this month. The $86 million privately funded project will increase the stadium's capacity from 35,000 to 40,000 and include a new press box, suites and club seats. Renovations to the west concourse will include updates to the concessions stands and restrooms. Heery International, based in Atlanta, is lead architect on the project, which is expected to wrap up in August 2015.