University of Houston


Recreation & Wellness Center Feasibility Analysis And Referendum Support

B&D was selected by the University of Houston in 1998 to perform a feasibility study for a new student recreation and wellness center on its main campus. The university enlisted our assistance in response to a student initiative to improve the quality of life on campus and replace the university’s small, overcrowded, and functionally obsolete recreation facilities with a state-of-the art, dedicated facility. Our tasks included market analysis, preliminary architectural programming, site selection, financial analysis, and support of a student referendum campaign. In the course of our work, we analyzed campus demographics and the local health and fitness marketplace; assessed campus demand for recreation facilities through a series of focus groups and a detailed written survey; and developed a financial model to balance funding opportunities, building operations, and facility development options. Using these analyses, we developed a proposal for a 230,000 SF facility that could be built and operated with a reasonable student fee. With our support, a student referendum committee undertook a campaign to generate widespread support for the facility and fee proposal throughout the fall of 1998. The referendum passed in a student election in November 1998. And in 2003, the 264,000 SF, $53.1 million Campus Recreation and Wellness Center opened. The nationally-recognized facility received a 2004 Outstanding Sports Facility award from NIRSA.