University of Washington


Recreation Center Feasibility Analysis And Referendum Support

In 1998 the University of Washington retained the services of B&D as part of an Intramural Activities (“IMA”) building expansion study. The IMA was built in 1968 for 27,000 students and by 1998 it was serving a university population of 34,000. This increased demand combined with changing needs toward more open recreation and fitness facilities led to a study to address overcrowded conditions in the current building and the demand for more weight and fitness space. The study’s objective was to evaluate the impact of proposed IMA improvements on campus life, confirm the recommended project concepts of a March 1997 “Recreational Sports Facilities Expansion Study, and determine student support for the fees needed to support the proposed improvements. We developed a survey, analyzed the results for each of these issues, and presented the findings, project concepts, and student survey results to various student groups. While the IMA was not able to meet demand, the study confirmed that it could be efficiently renovated and expanded to provide the appropriate supply of activity spaces. The renovation concepts proposed in the 1997 study were confirmed with the current gyms and support spaces retained, entry and circulation spaces improved, and weight, fitness, and gym spaces increased to meet contemporary standards. Outdoor fields and driving range improvements also were recommended to meet current demands, account for the deterioration due to the Seattle climate, and expand availability. Upon completion of the assignment, we confirmed the scope of the project as well as student fee support, financial parameters, and future steps required to move the project forward. As a result of the coordinated efforts, the students passed the resolution needed to finance the $44 million project, and the university moved forward with IMA’s renovation and expansion, which was completed in 2003.