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The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s Student Recreation and Wellness Center (SRWC) has received an Innovative Architecture & Design Award for 2009.

The SRWC’s state-of-the-art design elevated the facility to stand in the top 10 in the nation, among such other buildings as a health club in Kentucky and a military fitness center in Alaska, during a year that saw a record number of entries.

Judges scored each facility in seven categories: recreational value, indoor appearance, outdoor appearance, originality of plan and design, craftsmanship, function and operational elements, and innovative design.

“A strong plan reflects the site, the design reflects the plan, the interior reflects the design — a very nice composition. This rec center beckons and delivers,” said Greg Houston, one of the judges, of the SRWC.

The $21-million, 104,000-square-foot SRWC features options for health and wellness, including a climbing wall, three basketball courts, free-weight theater, a multipurpose gym for soccer and floor hockey, a walking and jogging track, cardio center and a Cyber Café, which offers healthy food options. The facility was funded through student segregated fees.

“The Student Recreation and Wellness Center is a terrific tool for admissions and a point of pride for returning alumni. It definitely helps with student retention and keeping students fit and healthy,” said Tom Patt, SRWC director. “It was a student initiative all along, and it continues to be that way.”