Programming Should Drive Rec Center Surface Selection

From a cultural perspective, at least in the United States, the wood-floored gymnasium appears to be ingrained.

"People just kind of expect wood, as a level of quality," says Ernest Joyner, a principal with the Denver-based architectural firm Sink Combs Dethlefs, adding that smaller community rec centers that are limited to a single court space will almost always opt for a resilient hardwood floor. "When people walk in there for the first time, they want to see that wood floor. That's when they say, 'This is a great new facility.'"

With most new larger rec centers, however, most often there will be included in the plan a second activity space featuring a multipurpose activity court, commonly referred to as a MAC. "We rarely do a rec center that's more than 100,000 square feet that does not have that second gym," says Keith Fuchigami, vice president of Cannon Design in Los Angeles, adding that he sees a lot of rec centers that were built 15 or 20 years ago that are being renovated. "Those clients almost always want to expand to include a MAC."

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