Before 2007, the Campus Recreation department was housed in the University Center and shared its limited facilities with Division II athletics, academic classes, and special events. Growth in intramural sports and the residential student population made a new recreation center essential.
In 2005, UCCS students organized and placed a referendum on the ballot to raise student fees to fund the construction and operation of a new recreation center. In one of the highest voter turnouts in UCCS history, students voted for an $80 per semester and $40 per summer fee. The Students for Environmental Awareness and Sustainability club met with UCCS leadership to advocate that the Recreation Center pursue LEED certification.
The architect, Sink Combs Dethlaf, specializes in the design and construction of recreational facilities and was chosen to best meet the needs of the UCCS student body. Focus groups, open planning meetings, student surveys, and visits to other facilities were all part of the planning process. The initial design process also included a LEED charette, an all day planning process with students, faculty, and staff to determine priorities for designing a green recreation center.
Adolphson and Peterson served as the general contractor, ME Engineers designed the mechanical systems to help achieve energy efficiency, and the Farnsworth Group provided LEED consulting, energy modeling and commissioning services. Novan Solar provided the solar thermal system to heat the swimming pool. The $12M Recreation Center is 54,000 square feet and was completed in August, 2007. Currently, it is one of only 2 LEED Gold recreation centers in the U.S. and the first public LEED Gold certified building in Southern Colorado.
Tours are available to see and learn about the amenities and different activities available. Recreation Center staff can also point out and describe the numerous green features of the building.