When the new University of Southern California (USC) Village Fitness Center opened in August, it nearly doubled the total indoor recreational space available to the Trojans. The new, state-of-the-art fitness center is part of the recently unveiled USC Village – a sprawling addition to the Los Angeles university that extends across 15 acres and is part of the school’s efforts to expand student housing and increase academic space.
The Village added a total of three million square feet of student housing, retail, academic and green space. The addition includes 350,000 square feet of community-serving retail with a full-service grocery store, retail shops, a pharmacy and sit-down restaurants. It also includes new undergraduate and graduate student housing and the new, state-of-the-art fitness center.
“Our goal was to increase the amount of workout and recreation space at the university, and we’ve achieved that with the new Village fitness center,” said Justine Gilman, senior director, USC Recreational Sports. “The Village fitness center is transforming student wellness at USC and provides students with another option to have fun, exercise and be active and healthy.”
The 30,000-square-foot fitness center features numerous fitness and wellness options for students, including power lifting cages, benches, dumbbells, free weights and stacking stations, nearly a hundred cardio machines, functional training and group exercise studios.
A key component of the development was the addition of innovative flooring to improve ergonomics and safety for students and reduce noise between the facility and the resident floors above it.
“Noise reduction was a major component of this project,” said Gilman. “We sought durable flooring that would reduce noise in the free weight and cardio equipment areas, especially with students living right above the fitness center.”
To meet flooring specifications, Gilman and the design team selected seven different Ecore products for installation in various areas of the facility.
For the cardio and functional training areas, Gilman selected Ecore Performance Rally flooring. Tailored for heavy conditioning, this 14.5mm product combines a 2.5mm wear layer with a 12mm shock-absorbing base layer, and is engineered to absorb the impact force related to aggressive functional training, providing an ergonomically advanced surface.
A strip of Ecore Speed & Agility Turf was placed adjacent to the cardio and functional training areas for footwork drills, sled work and tire flips. This surface features a dense, textured nylon wear layer fusion bonded to a 12mm performance backing.
The free weights, plate loaded machines, squat racks and Olympic lifting areas area of the facility were outfitted with Ecore Athletic Performance Monster Roll. Designed for extreme strength and conditioning, this 22.5mm thick surface features a 10.5mm Performance Beast Roll field united to a 12mm ShockPad. The resulting triple durometer system combines the durability and firm footing desired in strength training, especially in the weight lifting area, which features in-laid platforms.
“We knew we wanted Ecore’s Athletic surfaces in the free weight area, because we were so impressed with these products when we renovated our Lyon Center student recreational facility; it worked really well for us,” said Gilman.
Bounce 2, a synthetic wood-grain surface that is fusion bonded to a 5mm performance base layer, was specified in the group exercise rooms.
The bathrooms and showers feature Ecore’s Elevate Aqueous, a special safety surfacing ideal for wet areas and engineered with slip resistant particles and a raised emboss for added slip resistance.
The locker rooms were outfitted with Spectator, a 2.5mm luxury tile in high-end wood and texture visuals that are ideally suited for heavy-use areas.
The faculty and staff offices were finished with Ecore’s Roster surface, a non-woven carpet-like product that is fusion-bonded to a 5mm performance backing, and is offered in an interlocking format ideal for entryways or transition areas.
In total, 22,000 square feet of Ecore Athletic surfacing encompassing seven different products were installed in the Village fitness center.
“We are very pleased with the functionality of the floors,” said Gilman. “And, the flooring is doings its job because we have not had any complaints from residents living above since the opening of the facility.”
Gilman also appreciated the selection of color choices and custom options available.
“There were a variety of colors to choose from, and we also liked the fact that we could have our school logo embedded too,” said Gilman. “The look of the flooring is very aesthetically pleasing.”
Most important, the feedback received from students, faculty and staff has been overwhelmingly positive. More than 3,500 students a day utilize the Village and Lyon Center fitness facilities to exercise.
“We’ve received numerous compliments about the design of the Village Fitness Center space, and the flooring has definitely contributed to the overall positive experience,” added Gilman.