Recreation Centre redevelopment consultation and concepts

The University recognises the key role that sport and recreation plays in the wellbeing and success of our students and staff. We’re committed to maximising the opportunities for students and staff to play sport, keep fit and have fun whilst studying and working at the University of Auckland.

The old Recreation Centre located on Symonds St was built in 1978 when the University had 10,000 students studying on campus. Today the University has 40,000 students and over 5,000 staff. The old facility was at capacity and was no longer able to maximise sport, recreation and wellbeing opportunities for the University community.

The University has put a plan in place for a modern Recreation and Wellness facility which will cater to the needs of our community today and into the future. In planning for this facility we have widely consulted, over a number of years, with students, staff and existing Recreation Centre members as to what facilities they believe are important for the University to provide. The attached concept design, is the result of the extensive feedback we received during this consultation period.

If you have any further questions or queries please email

Please note: final design differs from the concepts shown here. 

Summary of the feedback from the consultation

Thank you to all who posted feedback on the Recreation Centre redevelopment concept design.

Key findings from the feedback include:

  • 78% of respondents are supportive of the design and development with 16% neutral and 6% unsupportive of either the design and/or the development.
  • 40% of respondents were current Recreation Centre members.
  • 39% of respondents were students.
  • 33% of respondents were professional staff and 23% academic staff.
  • 51% of respondents were female.

Overall comments were positive with repeated descriptors e.g. ‘good, like, great, nice, modern, amazing’ indicating support for the design.

Major feedback themes included:

  • Support for a swimming pool with some commentary around protecting privacy.
  • Ensuring there was enough space for the prescribed activities.
  • 70 comments supporting a bouldering wall.
  • There was some concern with the loss of existing bicycle parking with 20 respondents making comment.
  • There were some comments regarding the name “Recreation and Wellness Centre” where respondents noted they couldn’t identify the wellness components.

The University project team has considered the feedback and reviewed with the design team for modifications to the concept design, where appropriate. With regards to ensuring there is enough space for activities the old Recreation Centre was approximately 5,000 sq.m. in size. The proposed facility is 18,000 sq.m. and provides significantly more opportunities to cater for a range of activities than currently present. It is anticipated that the new facility will bring back a number of student sports clubs to the campus which the current facility is unable to cater for.

Whilst bike parking is outside of the scope for this project Property Services are producing a University Cycle Parking Plan which will pick up this issue.