Award Winner - May 2012
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The Center for Athletics, Recreation & Fitness
Gettysburg College

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

S U B M I T T E D    B Y

Cannon Design in Grand Island, N.Y.

Size: 55,000 square feet (new) + 30,000 square feet (renovation)

Project Cost: $22.9 million

Quick Tour:

  • Aquatic center
  • Climbing wall
  • Bouldering wall
  • Locker rooms
  • Multipurpose room
  • Fitness center

When the addition and renovation that created the Center for Athletics, Recreation & Fitness at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania was conceived, the project team was aiming to achieve LEED Silver certification, Ultimately, the 55,000-square-foot expansion to the Bream-Wright-Hauser athletic facility earned LEED Gold with its infusion of sustainable strategies and practices.

This cornerstone of a new campus master plan aims to enhance the total student life experience at Gettysburg College, creating a new axis for campus with a strong visual connection with its entry and the existing football stadium entry. The center features a 20,000-square-foot aquatic center with 50-meter pool, a 35-foot climbing wall, bouldering wall, locker rooms, multipurpose room and 10,000-square-foot fitness center. The initial phase of this $22.9 million project also included updates to the central energy plan and a 5,000-square-foot renovation of the existing fieldhouse to create a competition area.

The design objective that drives the building is the creation of a fresh, innovative facility that enhances student life and wellness at the college. The new facility is the first phase of a sports master plan that will eventually include an indoor fieldhouse with a 200-meter running track.

Gettysburg College includes a rich variety of architectural styles, and buildings completed in the last 40 years, although contemporary, blend nicely with the scale and pedestrian-friendly character of the historic school. Likewise, the new Center for Athletics, Recreation & Fitness employs a series of gable roof forms to relate to nearby student housing buildings. However, gable facades are transparent and equipped with exterior sunshades that admit generous natural light to recreation venues inside.

The building is fresh, inviting and highly transparent, advertising the energy and vitality of spaces inside. Architects and engineers used 3-D modeling capabilities to design interior spaces that admit maximum daylight with minimal glare. South-facing clerestories over the fitness and strength training venues are supplemented with interior light shelves that bounce light across the ceiling while blocking solar glare. Lighting is controlled by sensors that detect the amount of natural daylight available and supplement only as needed.

More than just a pretty face, the building's John Jaeger Tower—an 85-foot triangular, segmented glass tower located between the fitness center and south entrance vestibule—acts as a thermal chimney to enhance natural ventilation and reduce energy consumption. Convection air is heated by the sun and discharged at the top of the tower by dampers activated by temperature sensors, causing cool air to be drawn in at the bottom. The climbing wall, which mimics local rock formations, stands within this tower.

Showcasing the facility's outstanding success, student participation in recreation and wellness programs has increased 92 percent since the building opened in 2009.


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