BOTHELL, Wash. — The University of Washington (UW) Bothell and Cascadia College (both located in Bothell) celebrated the grand opening of the new 36,000-square-foot Activities and Recreation Center (ARC) on Oct. 7. The $22 million facility was jointly funded using student activity fees from both institutions and is anticipated to become the hub of student life on the institutions’ shared Bothell campus.
The colorful ARC is broken up into three levels, each offering different areas for students to socialize, dine and exercise. On the lower level, the building features a fitness center, group exercise room and neon-orange lockers. Students can make their way up to the lime-green first floor afterwards for a post-workout snack or game. Food trucks, a video game alcove and gaming tables as well as meeting rooms, student leader offices and an information desk are also included. The bright-blue top floor features a multipurpose event and gathering space — complete with nine large TVs that form one screen — meeting room and student alcoves.
“As students at UW Bothell, we have the opportunity to build what there isn’t on campus,” said Dominick Juarez, president of the Associated Students of UW Bothell in a statement. “That usually means building clubs and programs to enrich the student experience. The Activities and Recreation Center will act as a catalyst in shifting us from a commuter student body to a communal one. We will be able to relax, study and collaborate to make positive change on our campus and throughout our community.”
Designed by LMN Architects and built by Skanska (both of which have offices in Seattle), ARC connects to the North Creek Events Center on its top floor and is situated adjacent to UW Bothell’s Sports and Recreation Complex, which opened in 2012. Green building was a key part of the project, with natural ventilation and sustainable building materials incorporated into the design. The main lobby, for instance, features a reception desk made from reclaimed wood. Four gender-neutral restrooms are also spread throughout the space.
Students had a major impact on the creation of ARC, which took several years to bring to fruition, according to Cascadia College Student Government President Elise Saracino. In fact, students who contributed to the building signed a support beam’s surface in the lobby, according to the Bothell Reporter.
“The Activities and Recreation Center isn’t just a new flashy building with bright colors. It’s so much more than that,” Saracino said in a statement. “This building has been discussed for a number of years — seven, to be exact — and to comprehend that this structure is a result of student contribution just goes to show how powerful our voices are.”
This article was originally published on School Construction News.