BGSU Rec Center

2011
09.12

This past Thursday, September 8, my class went to the BGSU Rec Center for a facility tour.  The Rec Center is complete with a cardio floor, weight lifting, full-size basketball courts, two swimming pools, a rock climbing wall, and many, many racquetball courts.  The various features of the Rec Center are, for the most part, up-to-date by current standards.  It was obvious at first impression that the building has been remodeled countless times over the past 30 years but it has still remained a fully functioning Recreation Center nonetheless.

As highlighted in the tour, we visited the Rock Climbing Wall.  The Rock Climbing Wall was built in 20o2 to meet the recent demand to have rock climbing walls in various recreation centers.  Mr. Long mentioned that Ohio University has a rock climbing wall that is the focal point of the entire recreation center.  BGSU was unable to compete with this design due to the overall age and architecture of the building.  Instead they decided to remodel on of the gym rooms called the “Racquet Room” and install a 35′ rock climbing wall.  Due to financial constrictions, the Rec Center could only afford to install the wall and the ensuing safety equipment.  The rest of the room remains as it was when originally built and even doubles as 500 person bleacher stadium for swim meets.

Although, the room is not very aesthetically pleasing to the eye, it seems to have met the requirements as set forth by the textbook, Facility Planning and Design. The textbook states that the climbing walls should have color-coded handholds to properly show the routes that depict a certain difficulty level.  Judging by observation, there seemed to have been quite a few difficulty levels and routes.  It was mentioned by Mr. Long that the Outdoor Program, which is oversees the rock wall, would like another rock wall of even more difficulty that included miniature “caves” to climb through.  It seems as if the Rec Center could do all that it could given the limitations of space and money.

The other highlight of the tour was the swimming areas.  We specifically looked at Andrews Pool which is the leisure pool and spa.  Andrews Pool has been around since the opening and has had a few remodeling features since its opening.  The most notable remodeling feature was the flooring.  The floor was originally a green turf that surrounded the entire pool.  It was hard to maintain and after a few years it became out of style and not very practical.  It was replaced with a brown tile that is easier to maintain and more aesthetically pleasing.  The second renovation was the removal of the diving board.  The diving board was getting old and it was deemed unsafe by the administrators due to the lack of width in the pool.  it was also removed to add to the desired atmosphere of a leisure pool.

The pool seems to be within requirements of the textbook’s standards.  The flooring for the pool that would be ideal would be a 1″x1″ tile.  This type of tile is “the best non-slip, attractive, and long-lasting surface” according to the textbook.  Another feature of the pool is the lighting.  The pool features both natural and electric lighting sources.  The natural lighting comes from the windows along the far wall and the electric lights are normal fluorescent lights.  The natural lighting gives the feel of being outside while the electric lighting allows for the use of the pool after daylight hours and provides additional light for seeing clearer.  The natural light seems to be dimmed through the windows so as to not cause a distracting glare on the water and to not excessively heat the pool area through natural sunlight heat.

Below are the Recreation Center Industry Standards that I felt upheld the highest quality of facilities within a college recreation center.  The first is Ohio University’s Rock Climbing Wall.  The second is Texas Tech Leisure Pool.

***Click on photos for links to websites***

Clearly the focal point of the OU Recreation Center and a recreation standard that BGSU tried to emulate with the building of their rock wall

The Texas Tech Leisure Pool that cost over $8.4 million and features a swim up cafe, spray pad, a 25 person hot tub, and a lazy river.

It is pretty obvious while comparing the pictures from the ideal facilities and industry standards that the BGSU facilities do the basics in order to get the job done.  The pool is nice but it is still only a small heated pool with a hot tub.  The Rock Climbing wall is 35′ and hidden in a former multi-purpose room that doubles as a bleacher stadium on various occasions.  With time – and money – the BGSU Rec Center should be able to boast a few industry standards and ideal facilities that could compare to the two pictured above.

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