CSU, Chico News

Wildcat Recreation Center Receives Gold Rating for Green Building Standards

Date: 08-09-2010

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

California State University, Chico’s Wildcat Recreation Center (WREC) has received a LEED Gold rating from the Green Building Certification Institute for the facility’s sustainable and environmentally-conscious features.

LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, provides a standard of measurement and a framework for assessing green buildings in areas such as energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

Among the features that helped the WREC achieve LEED Gold status were control of pollutants during construction, the use of natural light in the building and the installation of low-flow showerheads in the locker rooms.

WREC Director Rick Scott said the rating was expected but still very important to receive. “It demonstrates our commitment to sustainability,” he said. “People here are very excited to hear this news.”

Scott said there are not many university recreation centers with LEED Gold ratings. “We’ve had people from other campuses tour the WREC to see the facility, and they’re amazed at what we have to offer,” he said.

In June, the WREC retrofitted 25 of its 29 elliptical exercise machines so that users can generate electricity while they work out.

Other resource and energy saving features in the WREC include waterless urinals and a solar pool heater. Scott said the pool heater alone will save the WREC $80,000 to $90,000 a year in energy costs.

CSU, Chico students approved a fee supporting the WREC in a special election in 2005, and the facility opened in August 2009.

The WREC will have a big event Aug. 20, called “Wrectacular,” as part of the University’s Wildcat Welcome festivities for new and returning students.