RECENT ARTICLES
  • The Keys to a Smooth Construction Approval Process

    by Ralph Agostinelli May 2014

    A gymnasium is a big building. If you're constructing a gym in or next to a residential area, you need to make sure it fits into the fabric of the neighborhood.

  • Plastic Bottle Initiative Helping to Green Athletic Facilities

    by Emily Attwood May 2014

    For years, Americans have been encouraged to decrease our consumption of bottled water and use reusable beverage containers, cutting down on the number of plastic bottles that end up in landfills. Despite the efforts of various sustainability campaigns, the Beverage Marketing Corporation reported that bottled water consumption reached an all-time high in 2012 when Americans consumed 9.7 million gallons of water, 65 percent of that in the form of single-use disposable bottles.

  • Storage Space Crucial to Any Rec or Fitness Facility

    by Jerry Burke May 2014

    “Not enough storage” is a frequent lament of recreation center operators. I feel for them. I’ve watched countless owners embark on new construction projects determined to avoid this situation, only to go down the same road as their peers. What happens is, you hit the limit on the amount of space you think you can build under their budget. The owners then look at the plan and try to expand their usable program space by cutting back on their storage space, rather than add to the footprint to keep their desired amount of program space and maintain their corresponding storage needs.

  • 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.