These days, it's not enough for a university to provide good education for students. Lifestyle and health considerations are also very important.
At the University of Iowa, the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center (CRWC) opened its doors in the summer of 2010 to provide healthy options for students, staff, and the community. With a competition pool, an elevated indoor Mondo Sportflex track and 20,000 square feet of fitness areas and weight rooms using Mondo Sport Impact, there’s something for everyone.
One of the first things people see when they come through a primary entrance of the University of Iowa is the CRWC – a welcoming sign that this facility cares about health. By all accounts, the $69.2 million price tag for the CRWC was worth the expense. This facility is a public/private partnership. The University of Iowa, the UI Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, and UI Student Government all committed significant resources to the project.
Because of the product's reputation for durability, Mondo was chosen at the outset of design and construction. "When we were debating what products we wanted in our fitness area, we realized we wanted a Mondo-type rubberized product," says Harry Ostrander, director of recreational facilities. "Mondo definitely has advantages over carpet in the fitness area, where users sweat when they are working out. Plus, it is so much easier just to wipe it off. Unlike carpet, which has to be replaced, this is a much longer wearing material for us."
For the 1/9 mile elevated indoor jogging track, Mondo Sportflex was considered the best option. "The reason we chose Mondo Sportflex for the track was its performance and durability," says Paul Klein, a partner with RDG Planning & Design. "We wanted a track surface that had both resilience and traction to it, and was easily cleaned."
He adds this is a product with less texture, which is beneficial because users would not be wearing spikes, just running shoes. "The other reason was the aesthetics of the products. The Sportflex is not your typical rubber flooring – it's got a little bit of design to it, which we feel has a little more style than the typical products. "
Standard colors were used for all of the Mondo flooring, with a scheme that incorporated two tones of gray. "We used two different colors of Sportflex on the track, dedicating a dual lane in one shade and a single lane in another," says Klein.
Joggers and walkers would use the majority of the width of the track with a passing lane designated by the separate color. The two colors also assisted in eliminating the need to paint stripes on the surface. The 1/9 mile indoor Sportflex jogging track is elevated above four basketball courts and is suspended from the structure.
The usage on the track varies from walkers to joggers to people with mobility issues. "Although it's not designed as a competitive track, a variety of speeds are experienced on the surface," says Klein. "This is not for student athletes, it is strictly for student recreation.
With over 20,000 of square feet of fitness area on three levels to cover, Mondo Sport Impact was an ideal choice. "The Mondo Sport Impact was used in two different thicknesses – the 3/8-inch product in the free weight area on the ground floor, and the one quarter-inch product in the cardio and exercise areas. It was not only the best product for this usage, it also fit better into the overall budget," says Klein.
In addition to several cardio pieces, the recreation room areas also host aerobics, yoga, Pilates, and other exercise and wellness classes. "We anticipated this would be a high utilization facility so we wanted a product that would stand up to the test of time and traffic," says Ostrander. "Certainly this Mondo product has done so. We are seeing approximately 6,000 people per day in this facility so we need a commercial grade product that would withstand that kind of traffic."
Because the executives at the University of Iowa and the planners had both dealt with Mondo previously, the decision to go that path again was simple. "We knew from past experience that if there are any issues with the flooring, Mondo was very good about coming back in and making the correction for us," says Ostrander. "From that standpoint it's been a good company to work with."