Creating Space

Georgia State University

Back in May, Georgia State University began a renovation project of its recreation center. The renovations were centered on the free weight area and squash courts.

“[It was] a renovation of the original building that resulted in additional exercise, office and storage space,” said Melissa Buchheit, the director of campus recreation at Georgia State University. “Part of the project was an addition of an office suite above the free weight area.”

And the mission of the project? “To take an area that was underutilized and expand an area that was over-utilized to best serve our students and our department,” said Buchheit.

Keeping your campus recreation area on the cutting edge of student engagement and participation, as well as design and function, is a challenge.

In order to stay up-to-date, Georgia State increased the amount of available workout and office space, and even replaced the flooring in certain areas. In December 2017, Bucheit said they replaced the flooring in their exercise room. But, they had already tried and tested the flooring they chose. “We [used] the same flooring in the exercise room as we did in the free weight area.”

Opening up the workout space was the biggest priority of the renovation, and even though it took up the bulk of the project, the job was done in under four months.

According to Buchheit, the school closed the weight room on May 1, 2017, during spring finals to begin renovations. The weight room was reopened on August 22, just in time for the beginning of the fall semester on August 24, 2017.

While the majority of the project has been completed, the work isn’t over, as there are still a few minor aspects of the job to finish. But with most of the project behind her, Buchheit has certainly learned a couple of lessons from her experience in renovating.

“Visit other schools prior to making your decision on what products worked best and why,” said Buchheit. “Also, keep the professional staff managers of the area as involved with the process as much as the facility staff.”

And, of course, the project could not have run as smoothly as it did without the help of the university’s campus recreation team.

“The recreation pro staff did a great job of keeping the project managers up-to-date daily with reports of progress, or more importantly, lack of progress that conflicted with what the contractors were reporting to the project managers,” said Buchheit.

Bobby Dyer
Bobby is a staff writer at Peake Media. Reach him at bobby@peakemedia.com.

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