The University of Windsor is rubbing elbows with Division 1 schools in the United States in winning an international award for its Toldo Lancer Centre.
The National Intramural and Recreation Sport Association (NIRSA) has named the centre winner of its 2023 Outstanding Facility Award. Other winners who have also expanded their recreational facility offerings in the past year include Texas A&M, the University of Minnesota, San Diego State, Old Dominion, Florida Gulf Coast, and the University of Massachusetts.
“The overall impact of this project alone provides it as a strong contender for the award,” said the committee that chose the University of Windsor as the only Canadian winner of the 2023 award. “In addition to the overall design of a facility, it should greatly impact the student experience. The Toldo Lancer Centre exceeds expectations within both categories.”
NIRSA represents some of the largest universities and colleges in the United States. Canada has regional representation on the association. Its award for outstanding facility recognizes excellence in architectural design, functionality, and how well the facility meets its intended purpose. NIRSA says winning facilities exemplify their institutions’ commitment to providing a higher-education experience valued by students.
“The Toldo Lancer Centre would not be a reality if it weren’t for the generous $55 million contribution by our students,” said UWindsor president Robert Gordon. “This is the largest-ever contribution by students to any Canadian university, so the accolades this building is receiving is as much a testament to their dedication as it is to ours as an institution.”
The Toldo Lancer Centre opened last July. The $73 million building involved an overhaul of existing facilities and added 119,000 square feet of new space. In addition to being home to the Dennis Fairall Fieldhouse, the Toldo Lancer Centre includes a 25-metre pool that is fully accessible, a suspended track overlooking a new triple gymnasium, a fitness centre that spans two floors, and multipurpose rooms that include a spin studio and a martial arts studio.
Architect Craig Goodman, principal with CS&P Architects which designed the building, called the Toldo Lancer Centre a “beacon.”
“Our design offers this quality physically, but the essence of a beacon indicates how this project was conceived and executed by so many. Each step of the process was guided by the focus to have a destination and home for all students and the university community,” Goodman said.
“It has been an honour to work with the broader university community to achieve this wonderful international recognition.”
The award will be presented at the NIRSA annual conference taking place in Pittsburgh through Sunday.