On November 6, 2006, Georgia Southern University celebrated the grand opening of the Recreation Activity Center expansion. Originally opened in 1998, the RAC included 80,000 square feet of indoor recreation space.
The recent expansion includes an additional 135,000 square feet of indoor recreation space, in addition to multiple outdoor venues.
The aquatic portion of the center’s expansion was designed to give athletes a competitive edge, while appealing to a larger community of users. For athletes, the facility includes a 6,000-square-foot, 10-lane competition pool and a diving well. There is no permanent seating, but for swim meets, temporary bleachers that can accommodate up to approximately 100 spectators are brought in. There is also a sound system and fully integrated scoring system, with touch pads linked directly to the scoreboard.
To give all students the opportunity to utilize the facility after a long day of classes or a difficult exam, there’s also a 2,351-square-foot outdoor leisure pool with a current channel and vortex. Additionally, a pair of whirlpools, one indoor and one outdoors, each with a 30-person capacity, create an opportunity for students to gather, interact and socialize, while promoting fitness and wellness. Combining both indoor and outdoor venues allows users to enjoy the outdoors when the weather permits, while offering the alternative of being inside when the weather doesn’t cooperate.
The aquatic portion of the facility is functional in meeting the needs of its diverse user groups and, as the entrance to the 215,000 square-foot-facility, it also serves as a show piece. The large amount of glass that makes up the building allows for a warm, inviting naturally-lit indoor atmosphere, and visually connects the entire indoor and outdoor pool area. The positioning of the indoor whirlpool against the glass wall creates a feeling of being outdoors, and both real and artificial palms trees are placed around the whirlpools, creating a tropical resort feel.
In addition to the natatorium, the RAC features a full-compliment of dry fitness amenities including:
- An 18,000-square-foot fitness center with dedicated areas for free weights, weight machines, and cardio
- 2 Basketball/volleyball courts
- 2 MAC courts that accommodate indoor soccer, roller hockey, and large social events
- 45-foot climbing wall with caving/bouldering area
- Combative rooms for wrestling, martial arts, and cheerleading practice
- 16,000-square-foot administrative and student services offices and support spaces
- Pedestrian boulevard and plaza connecting outdoor volleyball and basketball courts, a band pavilion, and picnic pavilion.
Georgia Southern students have particular reason to be proud of the new facility. No state funds were necessary to build this facility. The design and construction of the RAC was funded entirely by students through a multi-year, self-imposed activity fee.