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University Facility Combines Athletics, Recreation, Social Spaces and the Arts

A university facility combines athletics, recreation, the arts and social activity areas to create an economic, multi-purpose building that "fuses" function.

When designing a facility, how do you strike a balance between meeting increasing demand for the latest technology with budgets and return on investment? One way is to create a "fusion" facility, "capable of tying both the academic and residential quadrants of the university together to foster a sense of campus community," says Mike Mominey, athletic director of Nova Southeaster University Center in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

The 309,600-square-foot facility, which opened in September 2006, combines student, faculty and public activities. It includes a student union, recreation center, intercollegiate athletics, arena, food service and a performing/visual arts center. The recreation center offers three levels of dedicated facilities, including fitness, racquetball, a gymnasium, climbing wall, multi-purpose rooms and lockers. A 5,400-seat arena accommodates concerts and commencements, while a 1,250-seat lower arena bowl features a VIP lounge with premium seats to accommodate the school's new Division II status.

Architectural design draws on the existing character of the campus, with the exterior design respecting the campus palette of glass and pre-cast concrete. Its most prominent architectural feature is the world's largest aquatic mural on the three-story, sky lit galleria space.

With the new "fusion" facility, the school met its goals of recruiting and retaining the best student athletes, reshaping the image of the university within Division II circles, providing multiple activities/programs under one roof, tying together academic and residential quadrants, and increasing interaction and communication between faculty and students.

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