Award Winner - May 2013
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Cecil College
Physical Education Complex

North East, Maryland

S U B M I T T E D    B Y

Marshall Craft Associates Inc. in Baltimore

Size: 50,070 square feet

Project Cost: $19.8 million

Quick Tour:

  • Gymnasium
  • Press box
  • Locker rooms
  • Athletic training
  • Strength training
  • Student lounges
  • Concessions and vending
  • Study hall
  • Data center
  • Clincal lab
  • Classrooms
  • Exercise studio
  • Dressing rooms
  • Fitness center
  • Athletic Department offices

The Cecil College Physical Education Complex in North East, Md., is the outcome of a plan to create a structure that would maximize the use of space and improve the connection of various facility components at the school—bringing both old and new elements together.

The 50,070-square-foot complex encompasses an array of indoor and outdoor spaces for both formal and informal activities that accommodate intercollegiate athletics events and fitness programs, wellness-related classes, group study and collaborative learning, as well as student clubs, summer camps, luncheons and receptions, commencement and community events. It can even be used as a place to spend time with friends.

The $19.8 million project included some changes that involved the creation of natural outdoor learning spaces, sculptured, sloping amphitheater seating, new lighting and landscaping standards for the campus; the addition of 230 parking spaces to accommodate event parking, including accessible handicapped parking closer to the entrances; the relocation of the soccer field with natural turf; the addition of a cinder walking track; the preservation of existing ballfields; the relocation of tennis courts; and the retention of emergency access to other buildings.

The facility's amenities include a gymnasium, press box, visiting and home team locker rooms, athletic training, strength training, student lounges, concessions and vending, study hall, data center, clinical lab—physical therapy assistant, classrooms, exercise studio, dressing rooms, fitness center and athletic department offices.

Some of the unique features of the new complex include the hilly topography and the presence of an existing small ravine. The new second-level entrance on the building's east façade bridges the ravine and provides an accessible route from remote parking areas to the center of the campus. It creates a new dramatic interior entry sequence and walkway overlooking the gym, defines direct path on axis with new west entry atrium and provides orderly access to the addition.

Several sustainable elements also were included in the project. Existing wetlands were retained, while existing grades were maintained. Four bioretention facilities were added as part of the stormwater system, and excess soils were retained on-site for future use. Low-maintenance native plantings were also introduced. Eco-friendly materials were employed, such as lockers that contain 100 percent post-consumer materials; toilet partitions that contain post-industrial recycled material; rubber athletic flooring that contains 95 percent recycled content; and terrazzo flooring that is low maintenance and has an exceptional life cycle performance. The existing gymnasium halide light fixtures were retained, and fluorescent lamps are used in most light fixtures.

Other visual details incorporated into the new facility include an expansive glass façade that wraps around the building; as well as multipurpose spaces, such as the main lobby that serves as a student lounge during the day and a concessions area during large events. An energy recovery unit located on the roof was installed to capture existing heat for reuse in the building reducing overall life cycle costs. Water conservation systems, components and features are also related to sustainable design and construction. The volume of water also is reduced dramatically through a combination of water saving plumbing fixtures and automated fixture controls.


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

"Creative use of an existing facility in the spirit of sustainability and active recreation. The before and after transformation is impressive. Great capture of natural light, with dynamic views to the major spaces right upon entry. The building's integration with the site was well conceived."

Tom Poulos

"Very nice transformation from an uninspired and nondescript facility to one that is transparent and vibrant. Nice project—it seems to incorporate a lot of key program elements and renewed spaces into this central campus building."

Bill Massey

"An elegantly composed jewel capturing the best qualities of the existing facilities and site to form what appears to be a brand-new composition."

Greg Houston

"Clever re-use of historic buildings. Great integration of new with old."

Katie Barnes

A S S O C I A T E D    F I R M S

Programming Consultant: Sports Plan Studio

Landscape Architect: Derck & Edson Associates LLP

Structural Engineer: Mincin Patel Milano Inc.

MEP Engineer: James Posey Associates Inc.

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