Colleges Replace Drab Gyms With Sleek, Playful Facilities

They feature rock-climbing walls, water slides, hot tubs, elevated tracks, and massage rooms

The top of the 39-foot climbing wall at the University of Northern Iowa offers an ideal vantage point to see what campus recreation has become.

Those agile enough to reach the top of the indoor wall can watch a roomful of buff bodies working out on 62 pieces of state-of-the-art cardiovascular and strength equipment in the third-level fitness area, encircled by an elevated running track.