Kansas State University’s newly expanded and renovated Chester E Peters Recreation Center officially opened on August 30, 2013. The Recreation Center has been a transformative project for our students that promotes recreation, health, fitness, and interaction for the KSU campus community. The project scope included the complete renovation of the existing 165,000 square foot facility and the addition of 92,000 square feet of new space for campus recreation activities. The $24,000,000 project was completely funded through a student referendum and bond collections from student tuition dollars. This project serves as the third phase of the Recreation Complex growth. The original footprint was completed in 1980, phase two completed in 1995 and this third phase in August of 2013 – all three phases makes up the now 257,000 square foot facility.
The complete renovation included all flooring, paint, complete locker room, elevators, lighting, partial window and door replacement, electronics, scoreboards, matting, etc. The 92,000 square foot expansion of the facility included:
- New south entrance and facade of the building
- South student-only free parking lot, 40 foot climbing wall and boulder element
- Snack bar and lounge area
- Complete weight room with strength machines and free weights
- Personal training studio
- Four separate exercise studios
- Combatives and stretching room
- An expanded running track to total a 1/5 mile per lap
- Multiple lounge areas with new furniture and electronics
- New and expanded office space with conference room
- A multi activity court gymnasium with a dasher board system to include:
- Three basketball courts
- Three volleyball courts
- Three tennis courts
- One full size hockey rink
- Indoor soccer court
- Complete landscaping around the building including a one mile running trail.
The new south entry and façade has completely transformed the look of the building while maintaining the warmth and character that resembles KSU. While a LEED rating was not pursued by the University, local Kansas limestone and deep overhangs shade the southern façade while maximizing the transparency to and from the student housing. Inside, the new centrally located control desk allows our staff to keep a close watch on many of the major activity spaces from one location.
Correlation to Campus Master Plan & Mission:
The Recreation Complex project was an integral part of Kansas State Universities’ and Recreational Services’ 2025 strategic plan. As part of KSU 2025, the university embarked on a comprehensive update of its Campus Master Plan. The Master Plan provided a road map for growth and renewal to assist Kansas State University to meet its goal to be a top 50 research university by 2025. The Campus Master Plan proposes improvements to campus grounds and facilities to enhance and support the day-to-day experience of campus life for students, faculty, staff, and visitors. The expansion of the Peters Recreation Complex provides fitness and recreation for our students and staff but just as importantly, it builds community in a healthy environment.
The development and growth of the KSU campus has been in the northern direction. The Recreation Complex is located one mile north of the center of campus. All of the on-campus student housing is located to the north of center of campus along this line but still south of the Recreation Complex. A new residence hall is under construction at this time and on campus student apartments are located adjacent to the Recreation Complex, housing over 2,000 students. All the athletic facilities are also located adjacent to the Recreation Complex. Previously, the entrance to the Recreation Complex was oriented to the north, away from the remainder of campus and turning its back to student housing. The new south entry and student only free parking lot has connected students to programs by providing a visual connection to their housing and showcasing exciting new programmatic offerings.
Intended and actual Impact on Recreation Program:
The opening of the expanded and renovated Recreation Complex has had a substantial impact on the university’s fitness and recreation programs. In the twelve months since the facility’s opening, participant numbers have grown by 30 percent. Fitness and Intramural numbers have greatly increased due to class and sports offered with the increased facility size. The establishment of the MAC gymnasium has added space for our many sports clubs to practice and hosts contests that would normally be held off campus. The climbing wall has created an entirely new population of patrons to the Recreation family. The addition of the south entrance has connected many of those students travelling to the Recreation Complex from nearby residence halls. The addition of lounge areas, space for group gathering, meetings has changed the vibe of the Recreation Complex from “Come, Play, Leave” to “Come, Play and Stay”!