Student Recreation Center receives award from national association

April 13, 2011

Indiana State University's new Student Recreation Center has received national recognition.

The facility is one of nine recipients of the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association's Outstanding Sports Facilities Award, which recognizes creative, innovative designs of new or expanded facilities.

Each award recipient is considered a standard or model by which other collegiate recreational facilities should be measured and from which others can benefit, said Allison Van Leeuwen, assistant director of facility operations at the University of Texas at Austin and chair of the 2011 award selection committee.

"These nine winning facilities are symbolic of many recreation centers across the country; they are all important hubs of campus life," Van Leeuwen said. "The vision and resources which went into the planning and construction of these facilities attracts students to campus, benefits them during their studies and potentially stays with them during their lifetime."

Carmen Tillery, vice president for student affairs and dean of students at Indiana State, said the award is another indication that great things are happening at ISU.

"We are proud to embrace the honor of what it means to both ISU and Terre Haute communities. Our students continue to be satisfied with the quality of the facility, programs and staff. We know that the center has a positive impact on the student experience and is a major contributor to their college development and campus life," Tillery said.

John Lentz, ISU's director of recreational sports, said the award is especially significant because it is recognition by peers in intramural and recreational sports throughout the country.

"They want the nomination to come from the recreational sports folks. They don't want to necessarily hear from the architects; they want to know how the facility has changed campus and what it has meant to the university. ISU's Student Recreation Center has definitely changed the culture of our campus," Lentz said.

Indiana State recently hosted a regional student workshop that attracted more than 300 people to its Recreation Center from Indiana, Illinois Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and parts of Canada and the visitors "were just thrilled with our facility," Lentz said.

The students were particularly impressed with the center's open concept and its swimming pool and aquatics facilities that are exclusively for recreational sports, in contrast to many campuses which have combined facilities for competition and recreation, he said.

Begun in 1988, the award competition is open to association members with projects no more than 2 years old, more than 20,000 square feet and with total construction costs of at least $2 million. Awards are determined by recreational sports directors of member institutions as well as designers and architects who are associate members. Facilities are evaluated based on their correlation to their campus master plan and mission; the relationship between facility design and staffing; innovative use of construction materials or method; sustainable features and technological benefits.

Winners will be recognized Saturday (April 16) in New Orleans during the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association Annual Conference and Recreational Exposition.

Founded in 1950 and based in Corvallis, Ore., the association is comprised of nearly 4,000 professional, student and associate members serving an estimated 5.5 million students who regularly participate in college and university recreational sports activities.

Photos: http://isuphoto.smugmug.com/Events/Student-Recreation-Center/DSC3604RecCenterOpen/587337332_cYvGo-L.jpg - Interactive exercise equipment and a multi-court gymnasium are just some of the offerings of Indiana State University's award-winning Student Recreation Center.
http://isuphoto.smugmug.com/Events/Student-Recreation-Center/071009reccenterceremony-502/587385532_UpjMz-L.jpg - A pool dedicated to recreational sports is a major attraction at Indiana State University's award-winning Student Recreation Center.

Contacts: John Lentz, director of recreational sports, Indiana State University, 812-237-4100 or john.lentz@indstate.edu; Simon Bravo, communications specialist, National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association, 541-766-8211, ext. 14 or simon@nirsa.org