The UA’s Student Recreation Center was ranked the No. 1 most impressive student recreation center in the U.S.
Bestvalueschools.com ranked schools’ recreation centers according to the design and eco-friendly awards they had won, in addition to their size and non-traditional amenities they offer, such as rock climbing walls.
The UA Rec Center was the only facility on the list that had earned the LEED Platinum designation from the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is earned based on eco-friendly architectural features, with platinum being the highest possible rating.
One example of how the Rec Center is eco-friendly is the glass walls and windows around the facility that allow natural light to come in, therefore reducing the cost and use of artificial light, said John Lloyd, the associate director of Facilities and Services for Campus Recreation.
The expansion in 2010 also helped make the facility impressive, Lloyd said, as it allowed for a two-story weight room to be added to the facility, along with other amenities.
“We’re utilizing the space we have very efficiently with the amount of equipment we have,” Lloyd said. “Students can move around, and you don’t feel like you’re shoved in a small space.”
Samantha Celaya, a business management senior who works at the Rec Center’s front desk, credits the high rating to the Rec Center expansion.
“Before the expansion came on, I don’t even think we would have been considered for anything,” Celaya said. “I think it’s great how much we’ve really improved within the past three years.”
For students who don’t want to just work out, the Rec Center also offers intramurals and group fitness classes that help students branch out, Celaya said.
Other amenities, such as the Think Tank and Fuel Modern Eatery, make it well-rounded, she added.
Along with gaining points for its eco-friendliness and design, the Rec Center also got one “Wow” factor point for bouldering.
“We offer something for everybody,” Lloyd added. “Whether it’s hardcore fitness people … or someone who just [wants to] hang out and play video games for a bit.”
Brittany Allen, a physiology junior, has played intramural sports at the Rec Center since the second semester of her freshman year. Allen said she didn’t know that intramural basketball was available at the Rec Center until she walked in and decided to get involved.
“That’s what attracted me in the first place,” Allen said. “There’s just so much to do there. It’s not just machines, but the actual events that are going on.”
Allen said she met many of her friends through intramurals, and that playing basketball helped her
get involved and out of her dorm room.
“I grew freshman year because of that,” Allen said. “There’s more to life than just studying and books.”