Aquatics latest craze in US college recreation facilities

September 23, 2014

The latest front in the competition between US college and university campus recreation facilities is aquatic, reports the New York Times. In 2016, Louisiana State University will unveil its new “lazy river”—a water ride for students to leisurely float down on rafts or inner tubes. According to LSU, the lazy river—which will be shaped into the school's initials—was the feature requested most by students when asked what they wanted in a new recreation facility. In building the water feature, LSU is trying to keep up with some of its rivals. Auburn University offers students a 45-person hot tub and a 20-foot aquatic climbing wall; North Dakota State University is planning a new facility that includes a zipline that spans a 36-foot water vortex and a swim-up fireplace. Such features are all part of a trend that is seeing campus recreation centres move away from exercise and toward “health and wellness,” with social spaces and lounge areas. “Students—I don’t know if demand is the right word—but certainly they expect that the amenities to help them have a balanced life will be in place,” said Laurie Braden, Director of Recreation at LSU and President of NIRSA, a collegiate recreation professional organization. New York Times