Carleton College to Open $15 Million Recreation Center

The student body at Carleton College will be treated to its first new indoor recreational space in 35 years when the College opens its state-of-the-art $15 million Recreation Center on April 3, 2000. The 80,000 sq. ft. building creates a new recreational environment for the campus and provides a much-needed facility for Carleton’s active students, 75 to 90 percent of whom participate in recreational, club and varsity athletics during any given term.

23 March 2000 Posted In:

The student body at Carleton College will be treated to its first new indoor recreational space in 35 years when the College opens its state-of-the-art $15 million Recreation Center on April 3, 2000. The 80,000 sq. ft. building creates a new recreational environment for the campus and provides a much-needed facility for Carleton’s active students, 75 to 90 percent of whom participate in recreational, club and varsity athletics during any given term.

To celebrate the grand opening of the Recreation Center, Carleton will hold an all-campus convocation in the center’s field house on Friday, April
7, at 10:50 a.m. with Dr. Kenneth Cooper, who has been credited more than any other person with motivating people to exercise in pursuit of good
health. Since his first of 17 books was published in 1968, Cooper has been the leading advocate for disease prevention through aerobic exercise.

A ceremony to dedicate the building will be held immediately preceding the convocation on Friday. Throughout the week of April 3-7, the facility
will be christened with numerous activities, from aerobics and weight training to Tae Kwon Do and Ultimate Frisbee. Student a cappella musical
groups will serenade visitors and the celebration will conclude on Friday evening with a dance featuring the band Bobby Llama.

Terry Rivers, manager of the Recreation Center, has worked hard to be able to provide a wide array of activities on an ongoing basis, including racquetball, squash, aerobics, yoga, self-defense, social dance, and weight training.

“I’d like to have every single student, staff and faculty member at Carleton come and use the Rec Center at least once every term,” Rivers said.
“The building itself is wonderful, but what we create within the facility will determine whether we achieve our goal. The recreation programs and
activities offered are designed to attract people with a wide variety of interests.”

Built into the hillside on the northeast side of campus at the mouth of Carleton’s 800-acre Arboretum, the Recreation Center opens into a 30-ft. high atrium that includes a rock-climbing wall and lounge area. The entrance level features an aerobics and dance studio with a cushioned maple floor, a 5,000 sq. ft. workout room, and four racquetball courts, two of which can convert to squash courts. The workout room is outfitted with 80 of the latest weight training and fitness machines, some of which, according to Rivers, will eventually be wired to allow users to surf the Internet while they work out.

The second level houses a 50,000 sq. ft. field house, complete with a 200-meter synthetic track encompassing four basketball courts, which can be
separated by netting hung from the ceiling to allow for simultaneous tennis, volleyball, and basketball action. The field house also includes a long jump pit, a putting green, three batting cages and space for shot-put practice. The second level opens onto 25 acres of outdoor fields for rugby,
Ultimate Frisbee, and other field sports.

According to Keith Covey, director of facilities at Carleton, the construction of the Recreation Center reflects changing expectations from prospective college students, who exhibit an increasingly greater interest in a school’s ability to provide ample space for recreational activities.

“The current recreational spaces here are usually so booked with classes and scheduled activities that there’s no place for a casual pickup game of
basketball or volleyball,” said Covey, who oversees all new building projects at Carleton. “We wanted a building where students could go for
recreational activities, especially in the wintertime.”

Consequently, the new Center is intended for recreational use only-not for intercollegiate varsity athletic contests, which will continue to use existing facilities at Carleton. The new building, however, will be heavily used by Carleton’s varsity athletes for practice and training, and will
house offices for some varsity coaches.

The Recreation Center was designed by Hastings and Chivetta Architects, Inc., of St. Louis, Mo. Associate architect and engineer was Hammel
Green & Abrahamson of Minneapolis, and the construction was managed by CPMI, Inc., of Bloomington, Minn. Interior design was provided by D.
Mariea Guthrie of Carleton College and the landscaping was designed by Spencer Jones of Northfield, Minn.