An important goal of many universities today is to link their educational programs with robust fitness and recreational facilities, thereby increasing students’ success and satisfaction with higher education.
A benchmark project for achieving this is the recently completed Sun Devil Fitness Complex, Arizona State University’s signature facility on the western edge of its downtown Phoenix campus. The university construction project’s unique approach to meeting the needs of the approximately 70,000 students who attend classes at ASU’s metropolitan campuses has earned it a 2015 Outstanding Sports Facilities Award from the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA).
Presented each year at the NIRSA Annual Conference & Recreational Sports Expo, the awards honor facilities that demonstrate excellence in a number of critical areas, including architectural design, functionality, and how well the facility meets its intended purpose. Winning facilities exemplify the institution’s commitment to providing the higher education experience desired and valued by students.
The five-story, 70,000-square-foot Sun Devil student recreation center is particularly important to ASU students, who voted to fund the construction through increased recreation fees. It includes an indoor track, rooftop swimming pool, large gymnasium, weight room, multi-purpose space, student lounge, bike co-op and locker rooms. The complex also houses Exercise and Wellness, an academic program in ASU’s School of Nutrition and Health Promotion.
As a LEED Silver facility, the complex includes sustainable design strategies such as: rooftop gardens; low-flow plumbing fixtures; water-efficient landscape; high efficiency HVAC systems; and a super-insulated building envelope. Measures taken by the design and construction team reduced overall construction waste by over 80 percent.