Kennesaw State University

Dr. Betty L. Siegel Student Recreation and Activities Center

Kennesaw, Georgia

Project Type

Higher Education, Sports & Recreation


176,092 Square Feet

Design Services

Architecture, Interior Architecture

The Dr. Betty L. Siegel Student Recreation and Activities Center at Kennesaw State University (KSU) offers state-of-the-art amenities for recreation, fitness, and community engagement.

Before its redesign, the KSU student recreation facility was a patchwork of the original 1965 structure, adorned with layers of add-ons and interior tweaks incrementally accumulated over the years. With a vision to not only meet but exceed the demands of a growing student population, the project involved renovating the existing facility and adding a new structure—tripling the space of the original recreation building. This was completed through a phased construction approach, allowing the existing facility to remain operational during the 18-month construction period.

Project Goals

The university envisioned a Student Recreation and Activities Center (SRAC) that invigorated campus life by serving as a lively center for both physical and social engagements, enriching the entire community.

A Diverse Recreational Program

During the interactive programming phase of the project, students voiced their demand for variety.

The facility program responded by providing 46 unique program elements and over 146 simultaneous activity choices at any given time. They are all united by a central three-story atrium, which gives the center engaging organizational clarity.

The design divided the fitness area into five distinct neighborhoods to accommodate various fitness levels and routines. For example, one section features state-of-the-art equipment. Another section offers early morning workouts with a view of the climbing wall. Upstairs, three more fitness zones provide different equipment and atmospheres, ensuring something for everyone’s preferences.

Achieve LEED Gold certification

This project prioritized sustainability by reusing the existing facility and incorporating recycled content in building materials.

It also features low-VOC adhesives and paints, consumes 35% less water than similar facilities, and operates with a computerized energy management system to minimize its carbon footprint. Additional features include “green” treadmills, reclaimed wood from construction site oak trees, and a climbing tower made from freeform material with recycled walnut shells.

Students don’t pass by the center—they go through it!

The design allows a “river” of students to flow through the expanded and revitalized SRAC on their way to classes. Pedestrian traffic through the middle of the building links the academic campus with one of the university’s largest parking facilities.

Providing controlled access to the recreation center from this pedestrian link was a challenge that designers turned into an engaging asset. The result is an urban interchange filled with circulation, social, and fitness activities that intersect on three levels.

A glass bridge spans the pedestrian spine, uniting the two wings of the SRAC into a cohesive whole. The sights and sounds of students working out, rock climbing, swimming, and playing various sports enhance the pedestrian experience.

“We have been receiving wonderful feedback from the students.  They are excited about using the facility and comment on how beautiful and open it is.  Everyone is impressed with the facility.”
– Tara Parker

Executive Director, Kennesaw State University Dr. Betty L. Siegel Student Recreation and Activities Center


As you step onto the campus, the building’s impressive design greets you, clearly showcasing recreational and wellness facilities.

One notable element is the central pathway that effortlessly connects the campus’s main parking garage to its western perimeter. The addition and renovation of the Dr. Betty L. Siegel Student Recreation and Activities Center establishes a vibrant hub for physical and social activities, enriching the campus life experience for all community members.