A dynamic hub for campus recreation, the 151,000 sf center will be the university’s first facility fully dedicated to campus recreation. Responding to growing student demand and enrollment, the building offers a wide variety of recreation opportunities thanks to multi-purpose courts, indoor and outdoor pools, group fitness studios, a cycling studio, an elevated running/walking track, space for cardiovascular and weight training and more.
The University Recreation Center is located in the heart of the UNC Charlotte campus, near the student union within the academic corridor. Which elements have helped to integrate the new building in the campus?
The location of the building is so critical to its dynamic campus integration. Its proximity to other student buildings and resources creates a dynamic student zone where students can eat, study, go to the bookstore, stop in for a workout, socialize and more. The collision of these positive student experiences creates constant energy on campus.
Also, the building and site offer a strong connection between indoor and outdoor spaces. The use of glass creates transparency between floors and helps break down physical and metaphorical walls. On a facility level, that makes it easier for students running on the indoor track to quickly view or transition to outdoor volleyball, basketball or even swim. On a campus level, It creates great transparency, synergy and connectivity.
UNC Charlotte’s 2010 master plan was dedicated to promoting student health and wellness. Today, in light of the pandemic, do you think the initial aim is more obvious than ever? Or has it changed in some way?
UNC Charlotte wants to educate and graduate students ready to live holistically healthy lives. The pandemic hasn’t changed that. If anything, the building emerged at the right time. It created a haven for wellness during the pandemic and as we emerge into a post-pandemic world, it will only deliver on that mission in new ways.
No doubt, the pandemic has created new mental and physical health challenges for students. Resources like the University Recreation Center and their ability to bolster other departments like student health, mental health and more is as critical as ever.
Published by the International Association for Sports and Leisure Facilities (IAKS), sb magazine is one of the premier sports and recreation journals in the world. It focuses on highlighting leading-edge projects and people advancing spaces that promote wellness, joy and human health.