Parents and Families

North Campus Recreational Building - equipment

Recreational Sports got a facelift. And students like yours were the catalyst.

Over the past several years, the University of Michigan’s Recreational Sports facilities have demonstrated a committment to balancing the university’s recreational sports offerings with the needs of its campus populations. Student feedback through the student organization Building a Better Michigan and the Advisory Committee of Recreational Sports, along with other feedback sessions, have been integral in the decision-making process.

“For all of the projects, student input was crucial, with feedback coming from more than eight student-led organizations throughout the planning process.” —Mike Widen, director of recreational sports

It’s all part of a concerted effort to make sure your students’ educational experiences include the healthy recreational and exercise options they need.

“Getting an education can be a sedentary thing—sitting in class, at study desks and in lecture halls. The university’s Recreational Sports program is focused on providing options for students so they can be active during their downtime. As we upgrade our facilities we are looking to make sure the renovations and rebuilding meet student needs and preferences so they can make optimal use of what’s available.” —Sarah Button, assistant director of marketing, sponsorship and academic partnership

In August, the second renovation of a facility was completed and the North Campus Recreation Building (NCRB) reopened on Labor Day weekend 2018. In 2016, the Intramural Sports Building (IMSB), the first collegiate intramural sports building in America, was reopened after an extensive renovation. Renovations were also completed at Mitchell Field, the university’s home for club sports. 

Lyric Kleber, CCRB building supervisor, Club Sport athlete with Men's Rugby and chair for the Advisory Committee to Rec Sports (ACRS) commented on the renovations of the NCRB, stating:

"Many of my friends who use the North Campus facility have been very satisfied with the renovations, saying that now they are actually excited to go work out, and that the NCRB's open atmosphere is very welcoming and motivating. I think opening up the layout and generally brightening up the space with light and color play a huge role in how people experience the NCRB. Mood is so important in the success of a workout, and I think overall, the renovations helped brighten the mood at the NCRB." —Lyric Kleber 

Each of the renovations included the modernization of decades-past infrastructure, sustainability efforts and the transformation of dark, small-windowed spaces into bright, naturally-lit rooms and facilities. At the IMSB, Recreational Sports added adaptive sports as a new offering to the U-M and larger Ann Arbor community. In September and October of this year, the facility held drop-in games for wheelchair basketball.

“Since reopening the renovated facilities, we have been able to reach even more students, as evidenced by the record facility use numbers set at both the IMSB and the NCRB when they opened." —Mike Widen

At the North Campus Recreational Building (NCRB), existing spaces were reimagined to improve cardio, strength and group exercise areas and moveable walls were added to racquetball and squash courts. The squash courts now meet international levels for competition and a revamped Olympic-sized pool meets member demand. In addition, ADA-accessible locker rooms and a gender-inclusive locker room and restroom were added. 

"I enjoy the inclusivity of the place: gender neutral bathrooms, private shower/room for anyone—including handicap—and an additional private room for breastfeeding baby or simply a space to clear one’s mind. I love the thoughtfulness behind the design. They really took the time to attempt to address all the needs of their wide range of clientele:  Middle aged-Geriatric population, freshman, and international students," said Corey Baumgart, student in UM Health Psychology M.S. Program and NCRB supervisor. "I believe the foot traffic has increased significantly from prior renovation. Not only are we bringing in more freshman and international students, but we have brought back many of the older clientele and adding more of those outside affiliates every day. Overall, I’ve heard folks are highly satisfied with the new building—finally being current and up to date in regards to incorporating fitness equipment and spaces to the every adapting fitness culture."

Austen Thomas, a senior film and communications major, said that she has worked at the NCRB since she was a freshman. She has enjoyed seeing fellow students and members return this fall.

“It’s great to have the NCRB open to the community again. I’m looking forward to the return of people who come on a regular basis, showing them the new openness and the improved accessibility." —Austen Thomas

Thomas added that the facility is convenient for North Campus students living at Bursley Hall and Baits.

Freshman Blake Berent, who attended the opening, agreed.

“This looks great, very nice. I’ll be coming here to work out every day.” —Blake Berent

In the last stage of the university’s plan to upgrade Rec Sports facilities, the University of Michigan Regents in September approved plans to rebuild the Central Campus Recreation Building (CCRB). Located near the central campus diag, and the largest recreational sports facility on the University of Michigan Campus, the CCRB will undergo a complete rebuild with new construction beginning in Fall 2020. The project, expected to take two years, will rebuild the structure which was first constructed in 1976. The new CCRB will allow for additional space dedicated to student, faculty and staff recreation.

“This level of investment shows how important recreational activities are to the University of Michigan student experience, and it demonstrates our commitment to students by creating the types of spaces where they want to be.” —Mike Widen

Funding for the renovations comes in part from a student fee applied to all current U‑M students, and also from University Central Equity, Athletics, Logistics, Transportation & Parking and Student Life.

Visit the Recreational Sports website for information on programs and facilities.


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November 2018 Newsletter

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