The Rider University Student Recreation Center provides health and fitness opportunities for students, faculty, staff, alumni and the surrounding Lawrenceville, New Jersey, community. With a 3,600 square foot fitness room, group exercise studio, three multi-purpose courts, an elevated track and game room, there are a wide variety of fun fitness options for everyone.
However, the Student Recreation Center was in need of a few updates. “Our facility is 10 years old and we decided it was time to update our surfaces,” said Jill Shockley, the director of auxiliary operations at Rider University. “It was really for safety and aesthetics purposes and to better support the programming that we offer throughout the building.”
The university worked with Precision Athletic Surfaces, a company based in Vermont, to replace some of the flooring throughout the facility. “We put down a brand new court and also did a new indoor track,” said Shockley. “At the same time, we decided to make some additional improvements while we were down for maintenance in terms of painting, doing some new signage and improving our logos.”
When deciding what company to work with, the university conducted a competitive bid process, which ultimately led them to Precision Athletic Surfaces. “They were not the lowest bidder, but for the surfaces we wanted, they were the company that could provide that to us,” added Shockley. “Then we also did some reference checks and they had great references.”
The process began with removing the old flooring in December 2015, while students were on winter break. “We ended up removing the existing floor as soon as finals were over and that took us up until the start of the New Year,” explained Shockley. “Then we began with new floor installation in January and that took pretty much the entire month. Then the track took about one week in February.”
Shockley encouraged other recreation professionals to utilize the same tactic and plan certain renovations when students are away from campus. “Plan to do your project during your slower times, because even once we opened it was important to allow time for the floor and paint to settle,” she said. “Don’t plan any big events bookending the construction and plan for additional time. Finally, take advantage of the downtime to do other maintenance things throughout the facility.”