Project Category : College/University
Total Construction Cost : $42 Million (expansion)
Total Gross Square Feet : 116,000
Approximate Cost Per Square Foot : $362.06
How was the facility funded? : Student fees
With the student population increasing 25% at Texas A&M since the opening of the original student recreation center, an expansion to the Student Recreation Center of equal magnitude was key to the Departments vision to meet the demand for recreation and wellness. All recreation program areas were evaluated, and the budgeted priority areas for expansion were the Fitness & Weight Room, Multipurpose Activity Rooms, Gymnasium and Indoor pool. A seamless integration of the new facilities with the old, both functionally and aesthetically, was a key goal for the Owner.
Maintaining the investment in the existing spaces was critical to the functional planning. Each of the program areas expanded maintained a strong connection between old and new.
- The weight room would expand in place to double the size from 15,000 ft. to 30,000 ft. as one contiguous space.
- The new recreation pool, primarily serving daily recreation & fitness programs, was added within the aquatics area adjacent to both the Division I natatorium and to the outdoor recreation pool to easily provide supplemental water for each of the events scheduled in those venues.
- A new gymnasium with two basketball courts is located adjacent to the existing two large gymnasia (4 courts each), but provides a separate room for intramurals or special events.
- These key adjacencies of weight room to weight room expansion, gymnasium at the gymnasium expansion and swimming pool to the aquatics complex drove the expansion approach on three sides of the building.
- Capitalizing on opportunities to connect to outdoor spaces on campus around the building and within the athletics complex, led to developing outdoor balconies and plazas which were strategically placed for views of the athletics venues.
- A new Second Entrance responded to a growing student population living on West Campus and a convenient access from newly developed parking.
- The introduction of natural light, while controlling glare, was developed with a blend of glass and translucent wall panel systems.
- Creating views along with daylighting were incorporated through room and window placement, as well as with interior shading devices.
- Supporting the Texas A&M brand and providing walls which were durable and required less maintenance led to a utilizing developing a custom integral color masonry block incorporating maroon aggregate.
- An exterior design that was consistent with the original recreation center was desired by the Campus Administration and the Department of Recreational Sports.
- Building forms were bold and blended with the sloping geometry of the existing building.
- Exterior materials - campus brick, precast concrete and 16 square patterned, burnished block were arranged with the new geometries to reflect the space, and consistent with the original building.
- Dark bronze glass and frames were utilized to signal a major second inference to the building mimicking the original primary entrance of dark glass.
- A signature canopy and highly visible exterior stairs welcomes students to the elevated plaza. The canopy not only shades the plaza but adds additional shading to adjacent offices.
- Strategically located in the athletics complex, the Student Recreation Center was a key location in the fall for tailgating during the football games. The expansion of the Rec Center had an opportunity to enhance that tailgating experience and not only for Texas A&M fans but for visiting teams who would rent space at the building.
- The addition respects the established axis between Kyle Field (football) and Reed Arena (Basketball and commencement)
- Green space for outdoor exercise and gathering, together with bicycle parking, were incorporated in Pickard Pass connecting the Rec Center to the heart of campus under the adjacent railroad tracks.
- The expansion cost was estimated at $390 a square foot.
- The project bid within budget and was able to include all alternates including the new indoor swimming pool.