After years of dreaming and
discussion, plans for a campus Field House and Activities Center are
President Albert Simone predicts
that once constructed, this will be the most-used building on campus.
House and Activities Center, to be built adjacent to the Hale-Andrews
Student Life Center, will be a multi-purpose facility for recreation,
athletics and other campus activities.
I believe this campus
is incomplete without a field house, adds Simone. Ive
felt that since the first day I came here.
The $25-million facility,
which will wrap around the north and west sides of the Hale-Andrews
Student Life Center, is designed to serve many needs. The two-story,
155,000-square-foot building comprises three areas:
The event venue/athletic
field, which can be divided into three sections, will hold more than
8,000 people for special events such as convocation, guest speakers,
and concerts, and also accommodate activities such as lacrosse, tennis,
floor/field hockey, indoor track, baseball, softball, soccer and volleyball.
The plan includes a spacious lobby and mezzanine level with viewing
to the field.
house and activities center will be the crowning piece to an already
impressive group of buildings."
Frank Lamas, associate vice president for student affairs
The aquatics center
includes a competition pool, recreational pool, and spectator seating
for about 150. The eight-lane, 25-meter competition pool features a
moveable bulkhead to provide separation between the diving and swimming
areas. The recreational pool includes a spa area with hot tub, water
spouts and a current channel for relaxation and therapy.
A fitness center of
approximately 16,000 square feet with areas for free-weights training
and cardiovascular equipment.
The field house and
activities center will be the crowning piece to an already impressive
group of buildings, says Frank Lamas, associate vice president
for student affairs. It will give us the flexibility of doing
things weve never been able to do before. It increases our possibilities.
Lamas, who began work on
a proposal for a flexible, multi-purpose field house more than five
years ago, says demand on existing facilities is so high that scheduling
is a constant challenge and needs sometimes go unmet or activities take
place in a space that is less than optimal.
The Clark Gymnasium, constructed
in 1968, can seat about 2,000. However, using Clark for special events
such as guest speakers, concerts or community events means the gym is
out of use for athletic practices and competitions and intramural sports
for days at a time. The Hale-Andrews Student Life Center, which opened
in 1992, provides space for basketball, jogging, racquetball, and other
fitness activities but was not designed for large gatherings or events.
Like Clark Gymnasium, the
swimming pool was built when RIT moved to the current campus in the
late 1960s, when about 4,000 students lived on campus. Today, RIT has
more than 15,000 students and the number is growing. Some 7,000 participate
in intramural sports. Since 1992, participation in intercollegiate sports
has increased 46 percent. Participation in athletics exceeds any other
Lamas notes that student
expectations and interests have changed markedly over the years. When
prospective students look at universities, of course their first consideration
is the academics, says Lamas. But they also are interested
in activities available and amenities on campus.
A facility that allows
the campus community to come together to play and learn and celebrate
is critical to RITs success, Simone believes.
architectural renderings of the Field House go online: www.rit.edu/magazine/fall2002/fieldhouse.