Stephen F. Austin State University


Student Recreation Center

Nacogdoches, Texas

78,000 GSF, 7,246 M2

Architecture, Interior Architecture, Programming

Outstanding Sports Facility

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The ideal university recreation center fosters campus connections while supporting growth in student recreation and wellness. Accomplishing both goals, this comprehensive, centrally located destination is sited between the main campus and student housing, offering a magnetic replacement for previously limited, scattered facilities.

With detailed student input, SmithGroupJJR created a complex that emphasizes views from its open floor plans and expansive window walls, connecting indoors and outdoors. The L-shaped complex – which houses a wide variety of athletic facilities including racquetball courts and a bouldering cave, plus a lounge and staff offices – wraps around the outdoor offerings. This helps improve access to the pool, diving well, and basketball and sand volleyball courts while also reducing staffing and security needs.

The complex significantly increases campus recreation offerings, making it one of the university’s most popular gathering spots. The siting and program naturally bring together students, staff and faculty – creating new connections, improving retention (and recruitment), as boosting health among the student body.

Related Content

Recreation Management Magazine Feature
This article describes the “no waste of space” approach used in designing the new rec center.