Award Winner - May 2011
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HPER Building

University of Nebraska at Omaha

S U B M I T T E D    B Y

RDG Planning & Design in Des Moines, Iowa

Size: 154,650-square-foot renovation; 88,240-square-foot addition

Project Cost: $39.1 million

Quick Tour:

  • Gymnasia
  • Jogging track
  • Cardio fitness
  • Spinning room
  • Massage therapy
  • Juice bar/lounge
  • Outdoor Venture Center
  • HPER space
  • MAC court
  • Weight room
  • Group exercise rooms
  • Injury prevention & care suite
  • Whirlpool spa
  • Lockers/family lockers
  • Administrative space/Support space
  • Student Health Center

A wealth of natural light and more program space has virtually transformed an old building into a modern icon at the University of Nebraska at Omaha—with the development of the HPER Building addition and renovation. The facility has taken recreation at the school to a whole new level, improving the quality of life on campus.

Some of the improvements at the facility include: a cutback on delays for the use of recreation equipment; intramural sports now can be hosted when students want, as opposed to the previous late evening hours that often finished after midnight; biometric hand scanners are available for students to gain quick access to the facility, in lieu of their university ID card; programs such as Injury Prevention and Care and Outdoor

Venture Center have more room to grow; the capacity to host new student activities, recruitment events and pre-game athletic gatherings.

The facility, which cost $39.1 million to complete, boasts a gymnasium, MAC court, jogging track, weight room, cardio fitness, group exercise rooms, a spinning room, injury prevention and care suite, massage therapy, whirlpool spa, juice bar/lounge, lockers/family lockers, outdoor venture center, administrative space and support space. In addition, the student health center includes exam rooms, an x-ray room, procedure room, a nurses station and laboratory. HPER space includes classrooms, labs and more.

Innovations at the facility include the Canyon, a physical passageway through the building that shelters pedestrians crossing through campus. In the Canyon area, you can see the main lobby, juice bar, climbing wall, MAC, gymnasium, IPC and jogging track. In addition, the aesthetic appearance of the facility used brick to match existing materials, new highly transparent glass, and visually neutral aluminum wall panels; while natural light now beautifies every circulation space within the building.

The renovations of the facility intentionally break stride from the old, making it a strong visual icon for UNO's Dodge campus. Like many of its collegiate peers, the facility is a social hub, a place where users can see and be seen, and the aesthetics help create this.

The overall aesthetic presentation is especially bold in the early evening and throughout the nighttime hours when passersby have a great visual connection to the building. Because of the highly transparent exterior skin, this building radiates light, activity and excitement.

In terms of the outcome of the renovation and addition, when the building was only about 60 percent complete, patron use already was up by almost 12 percent.


A S S O C I A T E D    F I R M S

Architect of Record: RDG Planning & Design

Landscape Architect: RDG Planning & Design

Lighting Designer: RDG Planning & Design

Structural: Thompson, Dreeson & Dorner Inc.

MEP: Alvine Engineering

Civil: Ehrhart Griffin & Associates

A/V Design: IP Design Group

Whirlpool/Spa Consultant: Counsilman Hunsaker

Feasibility Consultant: Brailsford & Dunlavey

Construction Manager-at-Risk: Hawkins Construction Company

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