What’s in a name anyway? Recently, the NIRSA Board of Directors agreed with a recommendation by the NIRSA Facilities Awards Committee to change the name of the Outstanding Sports Facilities Awards to the NIRSA Outstanding Facilities Awards. The name change recognizes the ever-evolving landscape of campus recreation and understands that all facilities and renovations are not necessarily “sport” related. Through this name change the award acknowledges all aspects of recreation from wellness to co-curricular. The Outstanding Facilities Awards will recognize excellence in the innovative designs of new, renovated, and/or expanded collegiate recreation and wellness facilities.
The NIRSA Outstanding Facilities Awards Committee has been assessing the application process and will be making slight changes to improve the award application so it’s more user friendly. One change includes moving the application to an online platform that will allow easier input of pertinent information the committee requires to evaluate applications.
The Outstanding Facilities Awards Committee wants to make one thing clear to those interested in applying for the award: It understands that all institutions have been affected by COVID-19. The committee recognizes that some projects’ timelines or scopes may have been impacted by the virus, that funding may have come up short, and that an institution may not be able to clearly display the impact a facility had on programming or its institution due to a closure. The OFA Committee wants to make sure it is clear that grading will not be affected by elements outside of an applicant’s control as long as the eligibility requirements are met.
The cost to apply for a NIRSA Outstanding Facilities Award is $275 and only current NIRSA institutional members can apply—being recognized as a NIRSA Facilities Award recipient is a benefit of your institutional membership. The application fees help to underwrite the costs of this awards program which recognizes both schools and architects prominently through a variety of mediums.
Applications for the NIRSA Outstanding Facilities Awards will be accepted starting in late August. Visit the Outstanding Facilities webpage for more information including an overview of the award, a link to apply, eligibility and selection criteria, and a list of previous recipients. The Outstanding Facilities Awards Committee looks forward to receiving applications that showcase what your institutions are doing to move the profession forward! Please feel free to reach out to any of the committee members if you have questions or to get more information.