In September 2012, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) officially dedicated its 145,000 sq. ft. Sports and Recreation Center; one of the finest higher education athletic facilities in the Northeast. In addition to providing WPI students, faculty, and staff with state-of-the-art facilities, the new center also provides the university outstanding space for hosting regional and national robotics competitions, as well as other non-sporting functions such as admissions open houses, career fairs, and national academic conferences.
The natatorium features a stretch 25 competition pool with 10 lap lanes, two 1-meter diving boards and one 3-meter diving board for recreational and competitive use. The new center now houses an 11,000 sq. ft. fitness area, four-court gymnasium, racquetball and squash courts, an eight-person rowing tank for crew training, multiple fitness class studios, training and rehabilitation suite, offices, conference rooms, support spaces for the athletics department, and dedicated space for WPI's multi-faceted robotics program.
To meet the criteria for LEED standards by the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, the center's pool water is pre-heated year-round by 35 solar panels on the roof. By keeping the water pre-heated to 65 degrees, the center's boilers require far less fuel to bring the water temperature to the required 80 degrees. The roof also has a rainwater collection system that captures rain and stores the water in two 2,500-gallon tanks buried below WPI's quadrangle. The water will be used in the center’s cooling system, saving an estimated 800,000 gallons of fresh water every year.