NIRSA Awards

Outstanding Facilities Awards

The NIRSA Outstanding Facilities Awards recognize the innovative designs of new, renovated, or expanded collegiate recreational facilities of NIRSA Member Institutions.

Celebrate your exceptional facility by submitting an application for the NIRSA Outstanding Facilities Awards. Awards are conferred to institutions for facilities that have been built or renovated in the previous year and a half. Please review the eligibility requirements for more details.

Awards will honor facilities that demonstrate excellence in a number of critical areas, including architectural design, functionality, and how well the facility meets its intended purpose. Winning facilities exemplify the institution’s commitment to providing the higher education experience desired and valued by students.

Recipient institutions receive a plaque commemorating their achievement; designated architects receive a spire; additional collaborators are honored with a certificate by request; and winning facilities along with collaborators are prominently displayed on the NIRSA website. Winning facilities are considered a standard by which other collegiate recreational facilities should be measured, and from which others can benefit.

Applications are due November 16, 2021

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Applications are due November 16, 2020.

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Eligibility

To be eligible for the 2022 NIRSA Outstanding Facilities Award:

  • Applicants must be a current NIRSA institutional member.
  • Project must be a new construction or an expansion/renovation.
  • Project must have been opened between November 1, 2019 and October 31, 2021.
  • Indoor and Outdoor submissions will be accepted every year.
  • Recreation Department must be a main member of the facility.

Facilities that have won the award in the past are now eligible to apply for the award again but must meet all general eligibility standards above as well as the following criteria:

  • The facility must be at least 10 years removed from winning the award previously.
  • If the project is a renovation, approximately 50% of the original space must be affected and the renovation must show significant change to the space. Significant change should be addressed in the executive summary, including information about the change/benefit to the program and details about what the renovation added to the space that was not previously available.
  • If no renovation is done, the project must include an expansion of approximately 50% of the square footage of the original facility.

Selection Criteria

The selection committee, comprised of the members of the Outstanding Facilities Committee, evaluates each facility for its architectural design, functionality, and how well it meets its intended purpose. Facilities are judged in the following areas:

  • Correlation to Campus Master Plan & Mission
  • Intended and Actual Impact on the Recreational Program
  • Unique Aesthetic of Architectural Features
  • Relationship Between Facility Design & Staffing
  • Innovative Construction Materials or Methods
  • Sustainable Features
  • Technological Benefits for Customer, Staff and/or Budget

Please Note: The most successful applications are completed with representation from both the institution and the architectural firm or representative. Information regarding the construction project details and the impact on recreational programs and services should be combined to provide a well thought out, collaborative application.

Previous Recipients

These awards honor facilities that demonstrate excellence in a number of critical areas, including architectural design, functionality, and how well the facility meets its intended purpose. Winning facilities exemplify the institution’s commitment to providing the higher education experience desired and valued by students

2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020 | 2021

For More Info

Contact the NIRSA Member Relations Manager, Sarah Leskovec or Outstanding Facilities Awards Committee Chair, Kristin DeAngelo.