CSUSB Recreation & Wellness is an auxiliary unit of the Santos Manuel Student Union (SMSU) within the Division of Student Affairs at California State University, San Bernardino.
The mission of the Recreational & Wellness Department is to provide a variety of safe and enjoyable programs and facilities to meet the diverse needs of the CSUSB community by creating a healthy social environment, enriching the quality of life and enhancing the educational experience.
The Department of Recreational & Wellness is committed to the missions of the university and the Division of Student Affairs. Department staff work to provide opportunities for personal and professional development through Adventure Programs, Aquatics, Intramurals, Sport Clubs, Fitness & Wellness programs, Special Events, and open recreation.
The Recreation & Wellness Department is proud to offer the CSUSB Community a wide range of activities and programs to enhance physical fitness, learn new skills, engage in friendly sports competition, expand one’s knowledge base / comfort level, relieve stress, and to simply have fun! We welcome all enrolled CSUSB students, staff, faculty, and alumni regardless of age, gender, experience, and ability.
The desire for the Student Recreation & Wellness Center (SRWC) at Cal State San Bernardino grew out of the need for a state-of-the-art facility to increase student’s health and fitness levels, develop a sense of community, as well as assist with the recruitment and retention of students. CSUSB students championed this project by voting to increase their fees to fund the building’s construction and operation. The facility has exceeded student and administrator expectations with its high-end, durable finishes, and open & inviting design. The campus continually raves about the facility and daily usage has increased by over 500 percent since its opening in 2010. Due to the success of the SRWC, a facility expansion is in the campus master plan in the near future. The SRWC features a large fitness floor with cardio machines, weight equipment & functional training space, two multi-purpose studios, a multi-purpose gymnasium, and a climbing/bouldering wall featuring an auto belay, as well as saunas, locker rooms, administrative offices, equipment rental, and laundry facilities.
The first challenge of the project was site selection. The committee charged with the center’s development chose to place the SRWC in the existing footprint of old tennis courts, nestled into a stand of pine trees and adjacent to an existing parking lot, thus saving space, time and money. The site is also close to the existing playing fields and other athletic facilities, fitting into the campus master plan.
In order to maximize flexibility and minimize structural impacts, the building was designed with clear span glu-laminated wood beams and a deep span metal deck structural system, reducing capital expenditures. Additionally, a lively social setting was created with a ‘gallery’ circulation space accentuated by durable, but elegant end block wood flooring. This gallery links the various functions of the building, providing a visual, as well as physical, connection between all public areas. It also allows staff to easily supervise activity areas.
Aesthetic exterior and interior finishes: The shape and materials of the building were designed to fit easily into the natural environment of the San Bernardino campus, as well as with other campus buildings. The high ceiling and abundant natural light of the main lobby invites users to enter an open, airy facility. Generous sight lines remove physical and psychological barriers between spaces. The climbing wall and cardio space look at each other and create a sense of community under the eaves of the wood beams. The reception area is wide enough to accommodate a large group entering and exiting at the same time through a main control point.
The architect for the SRWC was HOK, with HOK Sport as master planner. Based on their baseline sustainable design tenets and CSUSB’s desire for sustainability, the following steps were taken in building the center:
- The site and placement of the building were chosen specifically to be responsive to climate and the natural environment (no trees were removed).
- Selection of building materials was considered for high functionality and low maintenance over the life span of the building.
- The major glass areas were designed with “fritted” glass – a sand blasting technique that deflects sunlight rather than allowing it to penetrate the curtain wall. This provides assistance in cooling the rooms, while allowing daylight to last well into evening.
- Wherever possible, environmentally preferred product selection was thoroughly researched and utilized.
- Staff and participant recycling is actively encouraged.
- Energy efficient design using occupancy sensors, day lighting, fluorescent and LED lighting, and a sophisticated building management system, allows the building to be operated with less energy usage.
Students continue to be in awe of the various features in the facility. The student newspaper described it well in calling it “High Tech Rec.” The following technological features enhance the facility design and increase the operational efficiency and service to participants.
- Biometric hand readers are integrated with membership software system and turnstiles. This is convenient for members as they do not have to bring a membership card to use the facility, creating a need for less staff at the entry.
- The computerized Smart Carte locker system automatically checks out complimentary day lockers to members.
- Club Com entertainment system provides music videos to the 14 televisions and 21 personal viewing screens, as well as the audio to the building. This system allows scrolling text advertisements across the bottom of the videos and graphic advertising on a CSUSB Recreational & Wellness page. It provides an innovative way for the department to promote its programs, while cutting down on print media.
- OnSite maintenance program immediately notifies staff by e-mail if a cardio machine breaks down or we have reached peak capacity on a particular type of equipment.
- A scoreboard with full color message center improves our communication with participants.
The Recreation & Wellness Department is proud of the inviting, attractive features of the SRWC, and the positive feedback from the students, campus community, and recreation colleagues. The building is well designed, with components that complement and enhance each other, creating the statement of a structure larger than the actual footprint. This project successfully accomplished its goal of a functional recreation space, with a warm and inviting feel, while incorporating advances in technology and sustainable decision-making. The objectives of the planning committee were to develop a sense of pride and community on campus, increase student involvement, and enhance the educational mission of the University. This building and its users are meeting those goals every day. The SRWC distinguishes itself on being on the cutting edge of recreation centers that is recognized for its many merits and positive impact on the student body.