RECENT ARTICLES
  • 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: 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: 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.

  • Incorporating Conservation into Rec Facility Design

    by Stephen Springs September 2016

    Proud members of any organization often like to cite that particular group’s mission statement. But actually operating in accordance with those objectives and goals can be a little tougher.

    Take, for example, the National Recreation and Park Association, which promotes three pillars designed to help its members positively impact the communities they serve. They are:

    1. Conservation
    2. Health and Wellness
    3. Social Equity

  • Blog: How UW-Madison Managed Rec Field Project Responsibly

    by John Horn August 2016

    You’re going to do what!?

    When we first told the campus community that we were interested in installing a synthetic turf system over 300,000 square feet that is known on campus as the “Near West Fields,” the initial reaction by many was one of shock. After all, it was a very large space to consider doing such a project; almost 9 acres total. It hadn’t been done to this magnitude on the campus before, and not at all for the 98% of students that are not Division I athletes. More importantly, the site is located in the Lakeshore Nature Preserve, an area around the shores of Lake Mendota on the southeast portion of campus.

  • Video: UW Director of Rec Sports Talks Facility Renovation

    by AB Editors July 2016

    In March 2014, students at the University of Wisconsin approved a $236 million referendum to overhaul the campus recreation facilities, badly in need of improvement. 

  • Think Big: Maximizing the Brain Power Behind Your Project

    by Alex Peirce April 2016

    Throughout our project, it has been a priority to engage Wisconsin students in conversations about our new facilities. We have used a variety of strategies, including open forums and electronic surveys, to solicit feedback from students before, during, and after the referendum passed. These tactics have largely been to gather general information in large-group or digital formats, but we also wanted to create an opportunity to have more targeted conversations about specific topics.