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The new Recreation and Athletic Center for Oakland University is a major expansion and renovation of the existing Lepley building built in 1965. The existing building sat on top of a 60’ high slope, creating the challenge of efficiently placing 225,000 s.f. of new floor area on a steeply sloping site. The design solution stacks program elements vertically to minimize the need for expensive engineered fill under very large program elements such as a three-court gymnasium and a 3,000 seat arena. Simultaneous use of the complex for special events and recreation is facilitated by providing two separate, controlled entrances.

Amenities in the complex include a three-court gymnasium with a four-lane elevated running track, a social lounge with a snack bar, two multipurpose rooms for aerobics, an 8,000 s.f. weight fitness area, a club sports room, five racquetball courts, a wellness suite, a multi-use classroom, a 50 meter pool with an underwater seating area at the shallow end and an arena for 3,000 spectators. The 50 meter pool is equipped with two movable bulkheads, one and three-meter diving and a spa.

Oakland University Recreation and Athletic Center

Rochester, Michigan

Photography: ©

Client: Oakland University

Size (sf): 240,000

Completed: 1998

Awards: 1999 Athletic Business Magazine/Facility of Merit Award 1996 American School & University / Award Citation

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