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University of Connecticut Student Recreation Center

Storrs, CT
Construction Cost: $97 million
Area / Square Feet: 212,575
Occupancy Date: August 2019

UConn’s 2015 Campus Master Plan laid out a vision for the physical development of the Storrs campus. One priority was to create a vibrant student precinct along Hillside Road, with the new Student Recreation Center as its centerpiece — a dynamic and welcoming destination that supports the goals and aspirations of this top-ranked institution.

The selected site put the building within a five-minute walk of 75 percent of the university’s residential community. Surrounded on every edge by major academic, research, athletic and student-life programs, each exterior face of the building is composed, detailed and finished to a high visual standard. Site design complements the rec center’s scale, materials and programmatic elements, and has energized Hillside Avenue and the campus environment.

The building itself supports 91,000 square feet of programming on four levels. Massing, fenestration, color palette and sustainable design features manifest the unique programmatic mission and are compatible with the surrounding scale. Building mass is composed to represent the nature of the functions inside while responding to the surrounding context of the buildings and landscape. The project has been designed to meet Connecticut’s High-Performance Building Standards and is anticipated to achieve LEED Gold certification.

From day-one, the core mission was to build a community destination that would provide a tangible sense of belonging and an environment that values, embraces and enriches individual differences. With a long-standing reputation in collegiate athletics and nationally ranked for academic excellence, UConn now has a rec center that supports the university’s wider program to attract and retain students and to promote wellbeing and resiliency among all members of the campus community.