Student Recreation & Wellness Center
Fort Smith, Arkansas
58,000 square feet
Learning By Design Award
WER Architects, in association with HOK, designed a new Student Recreation & Wellness Center for the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith. It is located on the southwest corner of the main campus “quad” green space. The building gathers students from a large covered outdoor area with built in benches into an open lobby with soft seating for waiting on other students or just hanging out between classes.
Faculty and student intramural offices are just off the lobby with views to the front door. Beyond the check-in desk is a 32 foot climbing and bouldering wall. Wrapping around the perimeter is a 3-lane running/walking track that takes the user by the various program pieces of building giving them glimpses into the other spaces, and outside the main envelope of the building on the north with views back to the campus quad.
On the ground floor there are two basketball courts, men’s and women’s locker rooms and weight training equipment along with a storage and rental area for outside recreation equipment. On the second level overlooking the weight training is a cardio loft with views back to the campus. On the west of the track are two studios, one with a wood floor for various cardio and dance programs and one outfitted as a spin studio. There are various areas for stretching and private exercise throughout the building.
Large graphics are used to enliven the student spaces and vary the level of transparency making the facility open and inviting to the student users. The RAWC, as UAFS students have labeled it, opened in August of 2016.