Tennessee Tech University and its recreation department, specifically, faced the challenge of operating an outdated facility inadequately sized to meet the needs of this growing campus. With university enrollment continuing to grow, the new Marc L. Burnett Student Recreation & Fitness Center is designed to support campus needs for many years to come.
Designers were mandated to apply Tech’s modified Georgian architectural style to the largest facility ever constructed on campus. With such large masses due to the programmatic requirements of the Recreation & Fitness Center, especially its climbing wall, designers had to be especially attentive to maintaining a human scale, as well as ensure that the center was consistent with campus-wide massing and scale.
The interior fosters an inviting environment by creating spaces that offer both independent and group recreation to meet the needs of all users. Fitness and weight training spaces provide state-of-the-art equipment on two levels. The multipurpose gym has three divisible courts for drop-in recreation play and is striped with a standard-size center court. The 25-yard pool is sized to accommodate lap swimming, fitness classes and swim classes, and can be easily reconfigured for recreation activities.
A signature element is the 1/5-mile jogging track, which weaves throughout the entire complex on the third level and vertically slopes down a full story for access to the second level. In addition, the track slopes at various inclines throughout as it engages all major spaces of the facility — including the pool, multipurpose gym, MAC and fitness center — to create a challenging fitness experience.