Award Winner - May 2009
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Joined in Wellness

Wartburg-Waverly Sports & Wellness Center, Wartburg College
Waverly, Iowa

S U B M I T T E D    B Y

Hastings & Chivetta Architects Inc. in St. Louis

Size: 194,000 square feet

Project Cost: $27 million

Quick Tour:

  • Natatorium with leisure pool, lap pool, sauna and wet classroom
  • 200-meter fieldhouse
  • 1,500-seat arena
  • Wellness center
  • Fitness center
  • Athletic weight room
  • General weight room
  • Racquetball court
  • Classroom
  • Juice bar
  • Hall of Fame room
  • Control desk
  • Athletic locker room, men's & women's locker rooms


ne of the nation's first combined campus and community athletic and recreation centers, Wartburg College's new sports and wellness center melds athletics, recreation and a commitment to the community in a design that celebrates the spirit of the 157-year-old college.

The new 194,000-square-foot Wartburg-Waverly Sports & Wellness Center, known as "The W," was planned to accommodate not just the 1,800 students at the college, but also faculty and staff, as well as members from the city and surrounding community. The city provided financial investment to the facility as well, demonstrating how partnerships between entities can pay off for all involved.

Because of the hybrid nature of The W, it was designed to allow continuous use by the college and the community, even when Wartburg's intercollegiate athletic teams are practicing and competing. Shared areas for all members include a 6,500-square-foot fitness center, climbing wall, aquatics center with a 25-yard, six-lane pool, zero-depth recreation area, waterslide, vortex pool and more, a fieldhouse with four multipurpose courts and 200-meter track, an auxiliary gym encircled by a second track, two racquetball courts, a golf-hitting area, aerobics and fitness rooms and support areas.

The W also houses competition spaces for the men's and women's basketball and track squads, as well as the men's wrestling and women's volleyball teams. Athletes also use the facility for training, and it serves as a practice facility for the men's baseball team and women's softball team during winter months. Facilities that are primarily designed for intercollegiate athletics include Levick Arena, athletic locker rooms, a training room, laundry, an athletic-only weight room, wrestling room and office suites and conference rooms.

A special component is the facility's wellness and healthcare center, which includes labs, massage therapy space, fitness assessment, medical records, offices and a nurse station.

The facility's design inside and out fits nicely into the campus, with German-style exterior architecture and an interior that celebrates school spirit. The aesthetic component most celebrated by the college is the Hall of Fame room, which serves as a meeting place for the Athletic Booster Club prior to home sporting events. Located along the southeast corner of the facility, this room is highlighted by a kiosk featuring descriptions and photos of all members of the Wartburg Athletic Hall of Fame, as well as the relocated center circle flooring from the former Knights Gym. Leading to the Hall of Fame room, a 166-yard-long Hall of Champions celebrates athleticism with championship banners and trophies.

The W offers an expansive facility for the college and community beyond, providing an excellent example of how cooperation can ensure everyone has access to fitness and recreation.


W H A T   T H E   J U D G E S   S A I D

Good visual transparency between the major activity spaces.

Colleen McKenna

Every interior space has a strong character and is nicely detailed; it is cohesive.

Greg Houston

A S S O C I A T E D    F I R M S

Mechanical/Electrical/Plumbing Engineer:

McClure Engineering

Aquatic Consultant:

Counsilman Hunsaker

Structural Engineer:

Fink, Roberts & Petrie Inc.

General Contractor:

Cardinal Construction Inc.

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