The Top Ten Student Recreation Centers 2024

    January 26, 2024 | Admin

    Top Ten Student Recreational Centers

    Having one of the top recreation centers in the country can mean you go to the gym more often, you attend classes, and more! Take a look at some of the BEST college recreation centers here on our top 10 list:

    Rank School Location
    1Ohio State UniversityColumbus, Ohio
    2University of MissouriColumbia, Missouri
    3Colorado State UniversityFort Collins, Colorado
    4Auburn UniversityAuburn, Alabama
    5University of Texas at AustinAustin, Texas

    Ohio State University

    • Columbus, Ohio
    • Graduation Rate: 83%
    Ohio State online nursing programs

    The Buckeyes have won eight national football championships, and today they take first for the best student recreation center. To be fair, they have five recreation centers and 90 acres of outdoor facility space spread across campus, so it is only natural to be one of the best. Each facility is unique in its own way, but the Recreation & Physical Activity Center (RPAC) is an architectural wonder and is the heart of campus recreation.

    For students that love swimming, they have lap pools, leisure pools, and a whirlpool spa. For those that love workouts, they have 27,500 square feet filled with equipment. And for those that climb, they have an entire rec center dedicated just to that. OSU’s commitment to campus recreation make them the clear choice for #1

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    University of Missouri

    • Columbia, Missouri
    • Graduation Rate: 68%
    University of Missouri

    Mizzou may not be near the beach, but don’t worry, the Student Recreation Complex brings the beach to you. The Tiger Grotto will make students feel like it is spring break all semester with a waterfall, a lazy river, and a steam room. Outside students find Truman’s pond, a pool that feels more like a beach club.

    The rest of the complex keeps the party going with a 42-foot climbing tower, a massive gym, and outdoor facilities like sand volleyball courts, and a nature trail. So when finals week rolls around you will have the perfect place to study or blow off steam.

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    Colorado State University

    • Fort Collins, Colorado
    • Graduation Rate: 67%
    Colorado State University

    A lot of schools have climbing walls, but CSU takes it to a new level with 55 linear feet of bouldering, two free-standing towers for roped climbing, and a free-standing boulder. Their aquatics center even has a wall students can climb from the pool. This is one rec center that does The Rocky Mountains proud.

    If climbing isn’t your thing, don’t worry, CSU has something for everyone. They offer a long list of fitness classes, a world class aquatics center, and their strength training facility is the largest in Colorado. If you are ever worried about the crowd at these facilities, all you have to do is check the new “rec cam” system before leaving the apartment. Colorado State University makes going to the gym easy.

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    Auburn University

    • Auburn, Alabama
    • Graduation Rate: 75%
    Auburn University

    In 2013 Auburn unveiled their new 250,000 square ft. Recreation and Wellness Center, and it has won national recognition ever since. It was even named one of the “Coolest College Recreation Centers in America” by Men’s Health. The center offers a 1/3-mile indoor track, two 50-foot rock-climbing towers, an indoor and outdoor bouldering wall, and PGA golf simulator.

    The center recently added 5,500 square ft. of dedicated personal training/Olympic and powerlifting space and a Sportsplex featuring three
    multi-purpose fields, and a an additional sand volleyball court.

    Auburn promotes lifelong health and wellness through programs like “Auburn Strong,” which includes wellness counseling, semi-private training, and group fitness classes. Registered dietitians even offer cooking classes and grocery store tours to educate participants about nutritional food choices.

    The combination of amazing facilities and life-changing programs makes this recreation center one of the best in the nation.


    University of Texas at Austin

    • Austin, Texas
    • Graduation Rate: 81%
    University of Texas at Austin

    Only one recreation facility? How about nine! University of Texas at Austin shows us what it means to be “Texas Big” with a combined 500,000 square feet of indoor, and 40 acres of outdoor activity space. This extra space is used for five pools, climbing walls, and a court for every sport.

    With their “TeXercise” pass students can be a part of an array of fitness classes including cycling and yoga. Or go backpacking, kayaking, and climbing with their adventure and climbing program.

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    University of Iowa

    • Iowa City, Iowa
    • Graduation Rate: 72%
    University of Iowa

    Many of these student recreation centers are new, but Iowa has one of the newest. Built in 2010, the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center (CRWC) is an architectural beauty with the amenities to boot. The first thing people  see when they walk through the doors is a 52 foot climbing wall, one of the highest campus climbing walls in the nation. To access the locker rooms there are bio-metric hand scanners, talk about futuristic. And the aquatics center has everything from diving platforms, to water volleyball. The fitness area spans over three levels, and includes over 200 pieces of workout equipment. There is even an in-house massage center: A Massage Oasis, for those sore days.

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    University of Cincinnati

    • Cincinnati, Ohio
    • Graduation Rate: 66%
    University of Cincinnati

    Two recreation centers are better than one, especially if they are the ones at The University of Cincinnati. At UC they have also doubled the options for classes; if you are into dance, they offer unique classes like Bollywood, African, and Evolution of Bey styles. They also offer different forms of martial arts, from boxing, to karate, to Muay Thai, and MMA kickboxing.

    When seeking strength training, UC is the place, they have over 21,000 pounds of weights ready for all students to use. And after a workout, there are three pools to cool down in. These recreation centers are beautifully designed, packed with things to do, and will receive national attention for years to come.

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    University of Maine

    • Orono, Maine
    • Graduation Rate: 58%
    University of Maine

    It turns out that when the University of Maine builds a student recreation center, they do a pretty good job. The New Balance Student Recreation Center was constructed to not only look good, but be good for the environment too. They built the facility with recycled materials, and they use green cleaning products inside.

    Other features include; an indoor multi-activity court with inset goals for floor hockey, a sunny and warm leisure pool with vortex, and 15 miles of trails just outside. These facilities have helped foster wellness for University of Maine students in a welcoming, open, and clean community setting.

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    University of Arizona

    • Tucson, Arizona
    • Graduation Rate: 60%
    University of Arizona

    University of Arizona is often at the top of the pack in Division I sports; their Student Recreation Center follows suit. The center features competitive Intramural Sports, top of line fitness facilities, and classes in everything from acoustic guitar to wilderness yoga.

    For students looking for something to make them stronger physically and mentally, the Challenge Program is a hit; the Challenge Program is a huge ropes course that teaches teamwork and leadership. So what are you waiting for? It might be time to soak up the Arizona sun and enjoy the recreation center at U, of A.

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    Temple University

    • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    • Graduation Rate: 71%
    Temple University

    The Independence Blue Cross Student Recreation Center at Temple University is a leader in helping everyone reach their fitness goals, including those with disabilities, or little experience. They hold events for various causes including Cycle for a Cause – an effort to raise money for the American Cancer Society.

    The recent renovation of the IBC includes new cardio and strength-training equipment: a complete locker room renovation with new fixtures, showers and lockers; the addition of two gender-inclusive shower rooms; and reconfiguration of open areas to add additional activity space. Whether students are beginners or experienced athletes, Temple University’s IBC Student Recreation Center has the facilities and the motivation necessary to get everyone on their feet.

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