Southwest Recreation Center's $16.3 million renovation paid off with an award last month.
The gym was named one of nine outstanding sports facilities for 2012 by the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association.
The renovation to Southwest Rec, which added 40,000 square feet to the center, was completed in Aug. 2010. Judges evaluated the facility in seven categories, including architectural design, sustainability, technology and how well it meets its purpose.
Lexi Chaput, assistant chair of this year's judging committee for NIRSA, said two things that stood out the most about Southwest Rec were its use of technology and the gym's aesthetic features, such as the alligator skin on some interior windows and graphics on the walls.
Victoria Waltrip, a 22-year-old biology senior, said she loves the changes that came with the renovation — especially those made to the cardio machines, which she uses most often.
"I really like how everything is very spaced out," she said. "You get a great variety."
The eight other universities who received the award for athletic facilities included Adelphi University; Ball State University; California State University, Long Beach; Colorado State University; Illinois State University; Morehead State University; Oregon State University; and Virginia Commonwealth University.
Students work out in Southwest Recreational Center on Thursday afternoon. The gym was one of nine recognized by the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association as an outstanding sports facility.