The envy of peer institutions when built in the 1970s, Bowling Green State University’s Student Recreation Center had fallen from favor among BGSU students. A renovation feasibility study revealed several areas needing improvement, including more natural light, right-sized program areas, upgraded mechanical systems and defined circulation paths. Feedback from students, staff and administrators further identified the desire for better visibility, better security and control, and greater emphasis on highlighting the BGSU brand.
The resulting renovation produced a more efficient layout, including a new curved front glazing wall, a relocated main entry and vestibule, and a control desk and new centralized stair. The transparent entry wall reconnects the building to the campus green and welcomes students. Natural light flows to the expanded strength and conditioning areas, including designated space for functional strength training. Improved horizontal and vertical circulation has increased the ease of student and visitor navigation throughout the four-story building, which also includes new hardwood activity courts, a climbing wall and a lounge. The design also provided more intuitive homes for the wellness center, offices and pro shop. Upgraded mechanical systems create a more comfortable workout environment.
Phasing the renovation allowed student services to be maintained over the 11-month construction window, and user engagement is up 25 percent since its completion.