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Ohio University

Prismatic lighting meets varying
needs in student recreation center

When students visit Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, the new multi-level Charles J. Ping Student Recreation Center may be instrumental in helping them make a choice as they consider institutions of higher education. The 169,325 square-foot facility includes five gymnasiums and eight handball courts, as well as aerobics and exercise rooms and a running track.

"This is a beautiful facility that provides students a place of exercise and helps them maintain a mental sense of well-being," commented John Kotowski, director, Ohio University facilities planning.

In lighting the structure, Kotowski indicated that many elements had to be considered because the building is complicated, combining open spaces with a great deal of natural light. In some areas, floors cantilever onto other floors.

"The facility was constructed for different tasks and, therefore, has various lighting requirements," Kotowski confirmed. The lighting system selected for the five gymnasiums is 400-watt metal halide Prismalume® fixtures from Holophane. "The Prismalume units were selected for the gymnasiums because of their uplight component, high vertical footcandle levels, and precisely controlled optics.

One of the challenges in this project was to achieve high vertical footcandle levels with the painted block vertical walls," explained Jerry Swearingen, designer, Heapy Engineering, a mechanical electrical engineering irm based in Columbus, Ohio.

Prismalume fixtures with 250-watt lamps are used in the main corridors to complement the "look" achieved in the gyms.

Each of the gymnasiums has an exposed roof structure, with lighting fixtures mounted at 16 feet, and spaced 18 feet on center. The corridor has a lay-in grid ceiling, with fixtures mounted at nine feet, spaced 32 feet on center. All of the gymnasiums are grouped together, with some separated by dividing walls. Floors are wooden.

Lighting in the gymnasiums was designed for 50 footcandles, with corridor designed at 20 footcandles.

Swearingen indicated that energy is always a consideration as an element in any job he designs, and was addressed on this project with the use of centralized lighting control and dimming systems.

"High power factor ballasts and high intensity discharge (HID) amps were some of the products used to minimize energy consumption and maximize lamp life," Swearingen related.

"The recreation center is very successfully illuminated," Kotowski concluded. "This is a highly traveled area and we've experienced no complaints or problems. In this type of application, we consider no news as good news."


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