Wellness Center earns national facilities award
Georgia College’s Wellness and Recreation Center received the 2013 Outstanding Sports Facilities Awards by the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA).
The Outstanding Sports Facilities Awards recognizes excellence in newly constructed, expanded and renovated recreational facilities at NIRSA member institutions.
The award is a first-time recognition for Georgia College from NIRSA.
“This national award is significant because of the visibility it provides Georgia College and our efforts toward sustainability as a green facility,” said Dr. Sandra K. Gangstead, dean of the College of Health Sciences. “The award also serves as a teaching tool and model for building a center that creates a culture of wellness on campus and in our community.”
Dave Terrell, university wellness director, accepted the honor during the NIRSA Annual Conference & Recreational Sports Expo held in Las Vegas, Nev., in March.
“Studies have shown that participation in wellness and recreational activities enhances the academic experience for college students and leads to greater academic success,” said Terrell. “We are thrilled our students have and are using a center of such quality.”
Comprising and supporting leaders in collegiate recreation, NIRSA is a national organization with more than 2,000 inspired professionals. Its Outstanding Sports Facilities Awards is one of nine awards given during its annual conference.
NIRSA bases its facility evaluations on the construction project’s correlation to the campus master plan and mission; the relationship between facility design and staffing; innovative use of construction materials or methods; sustainable features; and technological benefits for the customer, staff or budget.
Winning centers demonstrated the institution’s commitment to providing higher education experiences valued and desired by students.
Georgia College inaugurated its $28 million center on the university’s West Campus during October 2011.
Cannon Design and Menefee Architects designed the 101,000-square-foot center while Garbutt/Christman LLC constructed it.
The center offers students access to expanded wellness and recreational services and houses the university’s Student Health Services and the Counseling Center.
The building is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified, using “green” principles to reduce the negative impact facilities make on the environment.
The center became the first Georgia College building to attain this ranking, which is a rating system used by the U.S. Green Building Council to certify projects.
LEED features include water conservation, such as collecting rainwater to nurture native landscaping plants and special pool filters that require 90 percent less water.
The building also features an NCAA competitive-size indoor pool and a leisure pool for exercise opportunities and aquatic therapy.
Basketball and volleyball courts offer space for additional intramural teams and competitions. More than 50 percent of Georgia College students participate in intramurals. Classes of Yoga, Tai Chi, aerobics and Pilates organize inside exercise rooms as well.