Friday June 15, 2007

Designed to Sweat

A national publication focused on higher education management will honor RecPlex, the University of Dayton's new fitness and recreation complex for outstanding architecture and design.

College Planning & Management's 2007 Education Design Showcase has named the RecPlex project as a Project of Distinction and will recognize Hastings+Chivetta Architects of St. Louis for its architecture and design of the $25.3 million recreation center that opened in January 2006.

"The amount of interior glass allows one to see and hear the activities as you walk through the access ramp," said Beth Keyes, executive director of facilities management for UD. "This has greatly enhanced our student tours as visitors can feel the student energy.

"This project was so successful largely because of our students' leadership in promoting and financially supporting this new student space," she said.

Located on the former Founders Field, the recreation center offers courts for a variety of sports including basketball, volleyball, floor hockey and tennis, a climbing wall, an eight-lane aquatic center, elevated indoor track, studios for yoga and aerobics, a fitness center, lounge with Internet access, classrooms, locker rooms and the Chill, a student-operated juice and snack bar.

Dennis Lammert, project manager for Hastings+Chivetta, said the RecPlex project was particularly challenging because Founders Field had been a traditional passage from the residential dormitory areas to the adjacent student neighborhood.

"The free zone created by the ramp within the building allows students to walk through the facility and observe the activities taking place while making the traditional trek between student neighborhoods," Lammert said. "The exposure to athletic and fitness activities helps to promote a healthy lifestyle while making RecPlex a social gathering place on campus."

The awards will appear in this month's issue of the magazine.

A number of local companies also participated including general contractor Messer Construction Co., Edge & Tinney Architects and Heapy Engineering.

For more information contact Beth Keyes at 937-229-3769 or keyes@udayton.edu or Dennis Lammert at 314-863-5717 or dlammert@hcarchitects.com.