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NIRSA Honors HOK-Designed Wisconsin Recreation Center in 2021 Outstanding Facilities Awards

MADISON, WI — The University of Wisconsin-Madison Nicholas Recreation Center has been recognized by the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) as a 2021 Outstanding Facilities winner.

The annual awards recognize new buildings, renovations, and expansions that demonstrate excellence in architectural design, function, and creativity while elevating the higher education experience for students. The project, designed by HOK’s Sports + Recreation + Entertainment practice, was selected for exemplifying innovation in recreational facility design.

The new Nicholas Recreation Center, which opened in the fall of 2020, offers a plethora of health and wellness opportunities for the University of Wisconsin-Madison community. Completed in collaboration with Workshop, the new rec center replaced the Southeast Recreational Facility. Open fitness neighborhoods, a central stair, and ample use of interior glass all enhance connectivity and help users navigate through the five-story building. Direct views between the open fitness area and new natatorium strengthen the link between the two spaces.

The program responds to current fitness trends with 30,000 square feet of space for strength, cardio, and functional fitness; an eight-basketball court gymnasium accommodating multiple uses; five exercise studios; areas for comprehensive wellness programming; a multi-level indoor track with views onto the Capitol; racquetball courts; a turf area; offices; classrooms; and an Olympic-sized pool with a separate diving well and seating for 1,000 spectators.

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