Award Winner - May 2013
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Columbus State University Student Recreation Center

Columbus, Georgia

S U B M I T T E D    B Y

Hastings & Chivetta Architects in St. Louis

Size: 102,850 square feet

Project Cost: $23.2 million

Quick Tour:

  • MAC gym
  • 2 multipurpose studios
  • Aquatic center with lap pool and leisure pool
  • Fitness center
  • Elevated track
  • 30-foot climbing wall and bouldering walls
  • Racquetball courts
  • Wellness assessment room
  • Student lounge
  • Juice bar
  • Meeting rooms
  • Multipurpose banquet hall with catering kitchen
  • Offices
  • Locker rooms
  • Support space

To meet the needs of the growing student body at Columbus State University in Columbus, Ga., a 103,000-square-foot student recreation center was built—creating an on-campus focal point for students and faculty members.

The new $23.2 million facility boasts a wide range of recreational and fitness offerings, while melding aesthetically with the nearby campus buildings. Brick and cut limestone were specified in colors to match the existing campus palette, and the building features sweeping glass curtainwalls with metal panels to provide views into the fitness center on one side, and the pool on the other.

Part of the recreation center's design involves the use of natural light and highlighting the school's colors—blue, red and white—while openness and transparency were goals for all major spaces within the facility.

Amenities include a 12,000-square-foot fitness center with circuit training, free weights, cardio and a separate quiet space; a 30-foot climbing wall and bouldering walls; a two-court gym with an elevated track; racquetball courts; two multipurpose studios; locker rooms; and support space. The jogging track cuts through the cardio area on the upper level of the center while encircling the two-court gym. To help minimize the laps per mile on the elevated track, designers maximized the length of the track and swung it through the natatorium space.

A wellness assessment room is located off of the fitness center, and a recreation department office suite is included on the entry level. Social spaces include a student lounge, juice bar, meeting rooms with videoconferencing capability and a multipurpose banquet hall with catering kitchen and offices.

The 15,000-square-foot aquatic center boasts a lap pool and leisure pool. The heated natatorium houses a 25-yard lap pool with five lanes and a one-meter springboard; while the leisure pool includes a water volleyball court, lazy river, basketball goal, underwater seating with back and foot jets, and spray features. A sauna, whirlpool and wet classroom also are included.

The building is organized around two main points of entry. The north entrance is accessible from the commuter parking lot and bus route, while the south entrance engages the campus. Each level contains a control and service desk. The entry level control desk also is a display/retail area. A key innovation of the center involves the placement of the building into the hillside, creating two distinctive facades.

Many sustainable components were incorporated into the design of the center as well. For example, the aquatic area contains state-of-the-art drainage, water conservation and ultraviolet filtration systems, which recycles 240,000 gallons of water through the pool every four hours. In addition, a good deal of daylighting is used throughout the building as well as the use of energy-saving fluorescent lamps and multi-zone lighting control stations with occupancy sensors.

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