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Drexel to Open Newest Market Street Landmark A Recreation Center Complex

February 5, 2010

Drexel to Open Newest Market Street Landmark: A Recreation Center Complex
Drexel will officially open the doors this month to its new Recreation Center designed to become the epicenter of student wellness at the University. The 84,000-square-foot-facility wraps around Drexel’s existing 156,000-square-foot Daskalakis Athletic Center (DAC) and connects to it. The eco-friendly, three-story structure completely transforms the landscape on Market Street between 33rd and 34th Streets.

The facility boasts a number of green features, including a system that maintains storm-water flows by collecting rain water into a 36,000-gallon underground cistern. The rain water collected is UV treated, filtered and then used for toilet flushing and to reduce generation of potable water demand. The materials used in the structure include concrete, metal panels, slate and porcelain tiles and have been specified for their durability and low maintenance. The roof surfaces are 100 percent white to reduce heat absorption.

Gym-goers will also produce energy to power a sign that will read “I am a Dragon” when working out on any of the 12 elliptical machines that use ReRev technology to convert kinetic energy into electricity. Kinetic energy is sent as direct current through a wire to the ReRev system. From there, the direct current is converted into alternating current, the form of current used for power in businesses and homes. A standard 30-minute workout on an elliptical can produce up to 50 watts of clean, carbon-free energy.

The new Recreation Center will house a 13,000-square-foot multipurpose gym, 0.10 mile walking/jogging track, 17,000-square-foot weight and fitness area, two-squash courts with a viewing area and spectator seating, two group exercise rooms featuring aerobic flooring, an expansive atrium and a rock-climbing wall. The Center’s basketball court with spectator-seating and swimming pool remain in the DAC. Altogether the new complex will occupy 240,000 square-feet. About 25 percent of the open space will remain vegetated with 20 trees and 252 shrubs that require minimal or no irrigation. Landmark Americana Tap & Grill has been chosen as the sports-themed restaurant within the athletic and wellness complex.

The redesign of Drexel’s existing DAC began in September 2008. Sasaki Associates are architects, designers and landscape architects for the new Recreation Center. EwingCole provided structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, life safety and fire protection engineering. Pennoni Associates Inc. was also an engineering firm in the project’s team while Turner Construction was the contractor. The facility’s extension and transformation cost an estimated $44.6 million.

EwingCole In practice for more than 48 years, EwingCole is a nationally recognized architecture, engineering, interior design, environmental design, historic preservation and planning firm of more than 350 professionals. As an integrated practice, the firm believes that design of the built environment can enhance clients’ ability to achieve long-term success. EwingCole is a leader in the design of academic, sports & entertainment, cultural, government, healthcare, science & technology and workplace facilities. Based in Philadelphia, the firm has offices in Irvine and Washington, DC. Visit www.ewingcole.com.

Sasaki Associates Sasaki Associates is an international design firm engaged in virtually every aspect of the built environment – Planning and Urban Design, Landscape Architecture, Architecture, Interior Design, Eco-Technologies, Graphic Design and Strategic Planning. The firm’s interdisciplinary structure allows for purposeful cross-pollination of skills across the diversity of its professionals. The result is a synthesis of economic reality, environmental sustainability, cultural awareness and keen aesthetic judgment. Advantaged by the sum of these talents, Sasaki Associates is the rare firm with both the resources and experience to take on the largest, most complex planning assignments and the design talent to complete award-winning architecture, interiors and landscape.

*** Note to editors: To schedule a tour of Drexel’s new Recreation Center, contact the Drexel News Bureau at 215-895-6741. ***

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News Media Contact: Niki Gianakaris, director, Drexel News Bureau 215-895-6741, 215-778-7752 (cell) or ngianakaris@drexel.edu

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