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Q&A: Bryan Haunert explains the Student Recreation Center renovation

Associate director of facilities, operations and services at the University of Oregon Student Recreation Center Bryan Haunert,  recently took a tour of the Midwest along with a group of about eight members in hopes of one day building a top notch facility. In January of 2015, incoming freshmen, as well as the entire Oregon student population, will get to experience these very ideas and visions. 

For those that don’t know, what are the main purposes of the recent renovations?

The current facility was expanded back in 1999 and when we did that expansion, it was for about 3,500 users a day. At that time, it was always noted that there would be some sort of expansion in the future. We always called that “phase one” and then the tennis center was “phase two.” This expansion we’re undergoing is “phase three.” Our usage over the years started to creep around 5,000-6,000 and that is when we started talking to students. Students started to get interested in a possible expansion and that’s when the referendum came out. It was approved and we moved forward from there.

What should students expect to see after the renovations?

It’s going to be nothing like we currently have. I think students will be “wowed” when they walk into this building. It’s an additional 110,000 square feet of space and we’re also renovating 60,000 square feet of our current space. We’re adding another three-court gym, we currently have around 15,000 square feet of fitness space and we’re going to be adding almost 19,000 additional feet of fitness space, so more than double the amount of fitness space right now.

What about aspects that aren’t necessarily athletics related?

We’ll have a lot of social space too. We’ve noticed as we’ve kind of progressed over the years that students actually come here to study. They study between classes and so we’ve had very little social space and so the new building we’ve also put a lot of emphasis on those social gathering spaces. Whether it be hanging out watching TV, get a couple, or whatever it is, we’ll have a lot of spaces that are geared towards that.

Talk about the new Duck Store that will be in place

The Duck Store will also have a place here in the new rec center. It won’t be per se what people perceive the Duck Store as it is on campus, but it will be a great place to go get a smoothie, grab something to eat. If you need to buy a pair of shorts or something like that, we’ll sell all of our athletic apparel out of there. 

You’ve taken a close look at other recreation centers across the United States. Did you have a general model to go off of?

What we did is once we chose our architecture firm, there was about eight of us that did a tour in the Midwest of some rec centers. We went to: University of Cincinnati, Ohio State University, University of Dayton, Indiana State University, University of Illinois, University of Illinois at Chicago because those were all built within the past five years. I’m from back East and whenever I say ‘I’m from Oregon,’ they just think different, unique, so we wanted that look. We wanted you to be able to walk into the new rec center and know you’re at the University of Oregon number one and see something you’ve never seen before at other campuses and rec centers, and I think people will see that.

Follow Hayden Kim on Twitter @Haydaykim

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Hayden Kim

Hayden Kim