“Making a Splash on Campus: College Recreation Now Includes Pool Parties and River Rides,” by Courtney Rubin, Sept. 19, 2014
When Louisiana State University surveyed students in 2009 to find out what they most wanted in their new recreation complex, one feature beat out even massage therapy: a lazy river.
But with dozens of schools (including some of its Southeastern Conference rivals) building the water rides, the university had to do one better: When its lazy river is finished in 2016, it will spell out the letters “LSU” in the school’s signature Geaux font.
“The students involved in the planning process wanted something cooler than what anyone else had,” said Laurie Braden, the school’s director of recreation. “University relations said it was O.K. as long as it followed the font appropriately and didn’t take it out of scale.”
In the university recreation center arms race — with 92 schools reporting over $1.7 billion in capital projects, according to a 2013 study from the Nirsa: Leaders in Collegiate Recreation (formerly known as the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association) — the latest thing is to turn a piece of campus into something approaching a water theme park.
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