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Designers and architects receive award for new Student Life and Recreation Center

Posted: Jul 23, 2013


Lobby/gathering area, Student Life and Recreation Center


Aquatic Center, Student Life and Recreation Center


Field house, Student Life and Recreation Center


Climbing wall and entrance, Student Life and Recreation Center

Interior Image Group (IIG) and Buchar, Mitchell, Bajt Architects, Inc. recently received the Bronze Citation award from American School & University Magazine for their interior design of Olivet’s Student Life and Recreation Center.

“Interior Image Group and Buchar, Mitchell, Bajt Architects were really great to work with,” said Mrs. Jill Bowling, design liaison for the University and wife of Olivet’s President John C. Bowling. “Before beginning the project, we talked with them about the essence and culture of Olivet plus the vision and goals for the SLRC. They really came through, transforming our vision into not only a functional, but also a beautiful building.”

The joint effort of the two companies, in cooperation with Olivet’s team, was key to creating a facility that seeks to promote community life, student relationships, health, fitness and fun. Dedicated December 12, 2012, the new 168,000-square-foot multi-use SLRC features a 72,000-square-foot field house; 200-meter running track; four-story climbing wall; workout facilities; large game area; several classrooms; and an aquatic center, which includes a 10-lane competition pool, resistance pool and whirlpool.

“The design team was so proud of the project that we decided to enter it in the student recreation section of the magazine’s competition,” said Tom Buchar, AIA, NCARB, president of the architectural firm. “There was some tough competition.”

After a panel of Educational Interiors Showcase judges reviewed about 100 design project submissions, the SLRC received one of only two Bronze Citation awards and will be featured in the magazine’s August 2013 issue.

“This was an awesome collaboration between Buchar, Mitchell, Bajt Architects and IIG,” said Patti Tritschler, president of IIG. “We are excited to be featured in the August edition of the magazine, which will be sent out internationally to K through 12, college and university facilities, as well as business professionals. Many people will be able to see Olivet’s SLRC!”

“Every aspect of the SLRC was designed to foster the Olivet campus community,” said Matt Smith, director of recreation services. “I have a great sense of satisfaction observing our students utilizing the space to its full potential.”

IIG is also the interior architect and designer for the Reed Hall of Science expansion.

The School that would later be known as "Olivet Nazarene University" was founded with 36 students in a one-room schoolhouse near Georgetown, Ill.