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Springfield College Receives National Award for Outstanding Sports Facilities

April 6, 2009

SPRINGFIELD, Mass., April 6, 2009 – The new Springfield College Wellness & Recreation Complex received the 2009 Outstanding Sports Facilities Award at the annual conference of the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association on April 2 in Charlotte, N.C.

The Wellness & Recreation Complex was one of six winning entries chosen from colleges and universities around the country. “These six facilities represent the very best and the very latest in collegiate recreational centers,” said Jeff Huskey, chair of NIRSA’s 2008-2009 Outstanding Sports Facilities Award Selection Committee. “They not only provide a location for physical activity, but also create a sense of community on their campus.”

Annually, NIRSA presents the award for innovative designs that are model collegiate recreational facilities. Judges are recreational sports directors in higher education and designers or architects.

Responding to the announcement, Springfield College President Richard B. Flynn said, “The purpose of all of our facilities is to facilitate programs. The new Wellness & Recreation Complex was designed to support a comprehensive campus recreation and wellness program, to provide indoor practice space for a broad-based athletics program, and to enhance related academic programs that have an international reputation.” Flynn has written and consulted extensively on the planning, design, funding and construction of facilities for recreation, physical education and athletics.

The $22.5 million complex, with another $1.8 million in furnishings and equipment, opened in fall 2008. It includes the interconnected Wellness Center, Field House, and Athletic Training/Exercise Science Complex with 160,560 square feet of instructional, athletic, and recreational space adjoining the Physical Education Complex and Art Linkletter Natatorium.

The new buildings support the college’s degree programs in athletic training, physical education, exercise science, sport management and related areas. They also contain and support the new center for campus recreation and wellness with its comprehensive programming serving the entire campus community. In addition to providing outstanding recreational space for all users, the new field house also provides exceptional practice space for the many student-athletes and teams comprising the college’s diverse intercollegiate athletics program.

The Field House, with the same Mondo playing surface that was used in the Bird’s Nest National Stadium in Beijing at the 2008 Olympic Games, includes a six-lane running track surrounding four multi-purpose courts, plus strength and conditioning facilities, and other facilities.

The two-story Wellness Center features cardio and weight training space and equipment, a climbing and bouldering wall, four multi-purpose teaching/activity spaces, fitness testing laboratories, and faculty offices. It is the site of programs and services fostering physical, social, intellectual, spiritual and emotional wellness including group exercise classes, wellness seminars, healthy living lectures, personal training and counseling, fitness and wellness testing, and open recreation.

The Athletic Training/Exercise Science Complex includes classrooms and state-of-the-art laboratories and research space for the study of all aspects of human performance. In its practitioner laboratory, faculty and student trainers provide athletic health services to student-athletes.

Huskey said that a 2004 study commissioned by NIRSA found that participation in recreational sports programs and activities is a key determinant of student recruitment, success, satisfaction and retention.

Also being recognized at the NIRSA Honor Award Banquet will be Dillulo Associates, architect for the Springfield College Wellness & Recreation Complex. Other 2009 winners are the Colorado School of Mines Student Recreation Center, Stephen F. Austin State University Student Recreation Center, University of Texas Pan-American Recreation & Wellness Center, University of Texas at San Antonio Recreation & Wellness Center, and University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh Student Recreation & Wellness Center.

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