An upgrade in every way imaginable

Scheduled to open in less than one year, the new student recreation center will be light years ahead of the current recreation center facilities and a significant improvement from the cramped Stott Center.

Scheduled to open in less than one year, the new student recreation center will be light years ahead of the current recreation center facilities and a significant improvement from the cramped Stott Center.

“I think the students are sophisticated now,” said Alex Accetta, director of campus recreation at Portland State. “They know what’s out there and have higher expectations.”

With emphasis being placed on accessibility, sustainability and student development, as well as a dramatic difference in available space and technology, the new recreation center promises to usher in a new era of health and wellness for students and the campus community.

Conveniently located in the heart of campus in the revitalized Urban Plaza, the recreation center will be serviced by bus, streetcar and the new Green-line MAX light rail that will begin running in September of this year.

With an estimated 60 percent of students arriving to campus by way of one of these public transportation options, the new building will fit in nicely with the partnership that the university has struck with TriMet.

As well as being conveniently located, the new recreation center will have widely expanded usage hours. Whereas the Stott Center’s facilities are shared with varsity athletics, physical education and classrooms, the largely expanded building will feature restaurants, classroom space and house the Portland City archives, though recreation amenities will be the prime focus.

Accetta said that the building will help meet the needs of the ever-increasing student body. 

“The general philosophy is that students should be able to walk in and feel like they can use it,” Accetta said while highlighting some of the benefits of the new recreation center.

Additionally, all of the health and wellness programs will now be centrally located in the new recreation center. 

As a testament to Portland State’s love affair with the great outdoors, the office of the award-winning Outdoor Program will be in the main lobby of the new recreation center, as will be the offices of all the recreation clubs and the equipment rental station. 

“As far as I know there isn’t another collegiate facility of this caliber with the outdoor program in the main lobby,” Accetta said.

While some details have yet to be worked out, the facility will be open from roughly 6 a.m. until 10 p.m., seven days a week, with opportunities for exercise and recreation nearly all of that time.

With Portland State’s strong stance on protecting the environment and encouraging awareness of those issues, sustainability has been a key factor in the planning of the new center.

The new facility will feature a 70,000-gallon rainwater collection cistern on a portion of the roof that will be used in the restroom facilities and in the fire sprinkler system. 

The two hardwood courts that will be used mainly for basketball and volleyball in the gymnasium will be made of FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council) certified materials and the suspended running track’s surface will be made of Nike Grind, a product of recycled athletic shoes. The track will overlook the courts.

The six-lane fitness pool will feature an Ultraviolet (UV) filtration system that reduces the amount of chemicals used for water treatment. 

All classrooms and offices in the new center will feature natural light and motion sensors that adjust the lighting needed based on the natural light let through the numerous windows in those rooms. Similar technology was used in the renovation of Shattuck Hall.

The cardio room of the recreation center will feature more than double the size available currently, and through the elliptical machines of the room will capture energy used to provide a small portion of the power for the building.

Using a breakthrough technology called ReRev, which is only featured on two college campuses in the nation, the power generated by those who use the machines will help, at the very least, diminish power costs and fits within the framework of sustainability and conservation that the rest of the building encapsulates, Acetta said.

The new recreation center will also feature high efficiency windows and an advanced HVAC (Heating and Cooling) system for maximum energy conservation. 

Student Development
Not only will it be a place for students to get healthy and stay healthy, the new student recreation center will be a place for students to get involved and learn valuable life skills. Accetta, who oversees all of the programs that operate under the umbrella of Campus Recreation, anticipates that 95 percent of the facilities’ employees will be students. 

“There will be an emphasis on student development, especially leadership skills.  Students will be teaching students,” Accetta said. “Intramural refs, outdoor trip leaders, personal trainers, swim instructors, they will primarily be students.”