Maharishi University of Management’s recreation center is going through major upgrades this month.
The university has already added large fans above its courts, and later will replace the court surface itself.
Last week, the university added four large “smart fans” 24 feet in diameter above the multi-purpose courts. These courts are used for basketball, volleyball, pickleball, soccer, badminton, table tennis, and more, in addition to providing a running/walking track around the perimeter. The fans will have sensors that will control operation depending on whether the facility needs to be cooler or warmer.
In hot weather, the fan speed will increase as the floor temperature rises, offering a cooling breeze. The fans are much larger in diameter than the current ceiling fans and will have more of a cooling effect, said Recreation Center co-manager Soren Pearson.
In colder weather, the fans will minimize the temperature differential between the floor and ceiling, such that warmer air is directed downward.
New flooring will be installed in the four courts in the south half of the recreation center over Christmas break, replacing a badly cracked and damaged surface that’s been in use for nearly 30 years.
The flooring on the four south courts is a special surface that’s firm enough for activities such as dribbling a basketball, yet has a rubber base so that the impact when exercising is much more gentle than surfaces such as wood or concrete.
The current rubber base will be left intact, and a new upper layer of vulcanized urethane sheeting will be placed over the worn surface after the flaws have been ground down. The material to be used is Greenguard Gold certified, which ensures that a product has met rigorous and comprehensive standards for low emissions of volatile organic compounds. The material is also fire resistant and recyclable.
The new flooring will include markings for three dedicated pickleball courts.
The resurfacing of the courts and installation of the fans are being made possible by $270,000 in donations, mostly from active recreation center members.
The installation over Christmas break is expected to take two to three weeks, during which time the facility will be closed (the rec center staff has not decided yet whether the tennis courts will remain open). Work will start Dec. 17 and last through Jan. 7. The fieldhouse will be available to those eager to get exercise while the rec center is closed.
The university’s vice president, Craig Pearson, said that pending funding, the next phase of upgrades will replace current lights with LED lighting, providing much longer life, significant energy savings, immediate illumination, and cool operation. The older, high-temperature halogen lights take five or more minutes before they fully illuminate.
Also tentatively planned for phase 2 would be a new surface for the tennis courts.
- Used with permission from The Review, Maharishi University of Management’s electronic newsletter