University of Washington Bothell and Cascadia College opened a new student Activities and Recreation center on their joint campus Wednesday morning, culminating a six-year process between students, faculty and outside contractors.
Associated Students of the University of Washington Bothell President Dominick Juarez said students wanted a new recreation center. He helped initiate the process around 2009.
“They came up with the idea of the student activity center,” he said.
Students also fund the 36,000-square-foot building, which cost around $20 million to build, through a $100-per-quarter student fee.
While considering design and structural options, a planning committee toured various student recreation centers in the region, including one at Central Washington University.
Comprised of three floors, a striking color palate selected by students dominates the building.
A wide-open top floor, used for events and a general hang-out area, is decked out in cerulean blue from floor to ceiling. Nine large TVs form one screen and rows of speakers hang from the ceiling. Walkways connect it to the North Creek Event Center.
The main floor is awash in vivid lime green, housing student government offices and a meeting room dedicated to providing a space for social justice organization.
On the bottom floor, neon orange lockers and walls hold students’ belongings as they work out in a brand-new gym complete with a mirror-lined room for yoga, Zumba and other exercises.
Student input was key in designing all aspects of the building and not just the color scheme, said student director of the Activities and Recreation Center Evan Carman.
“Students in the spring got a chance to really leave their mark on the building,” Carman said.
A support beam’s surface in the lobby was left exposed and covered with the signatures of students who contributed to the building.
Incorporated into the architecture was a concern for the building’s environmental impact, said UW Bothell spokeswoman Lisa Hall. A restored wetland sits behind the center, which is used for research and preserved by the campus.
Environmentally friendly systems, such as constructing the building to let more light in during the winter and less in the summer, were implemented to reduce energy consumption. Four gender-neutral restrooms are also spread throughout the building.
Only one window was installed on the building’s southern face to facilitate future expansion.
The center sports a video game corner with a game library for all students, along with 50 laptops available for the student government.
Students from both colleges can utilized the recreation center.