Mays Family YMCA at Potranco and City of San Antonio Public Library San Antonio, TX

Project Category : Health & Wellness

Total Construction Cost : $7.9 million

Total Gross Square Feet : 60,000 SF

Approximate Cost Per Square Foot : $131.67

How was the facility funded? : Private donations, city of San Antonio bond issue

Project Description:


The YMCA of Greater San Antonio and the San Antonio Public Library from the ideas inception envisioned a lively community center addressing the areas fast growth and remoteness. Located on the far west side of San Antonio, the closest library requires a 20-minute drive, while no fitness facilities existed to cater to the exploding family demographic.


The Mays Family YMCA at Potranco is an adaptive reuse project that converts a 60,000 SF rectangular big-box supermarket. Functional planning, challenging to resolve, was achieved by understanding the 6 distinct space types, including a partner organization requiring separate access control, needed to be clearly identifiable and visually distinct. Planning relies on the creation of a hub and spoke layout, wherein the center Commons allows for direct access and visual connections to the exterior. From the lobby, visitors enter either into the Public Library or proceed into the YMCAs Commons, from which all the internal programs are accessed. Clustered around the community Commons established as a meet and great space are 2 Pools, 11,000 sf two-level Fitness Floor, Gymnasium, 4 Group Exercise studios, a Child Watch, Community Room, and a Teaching Kitchen providing healthy cooking classes.


Driving inspiration from the new branded YMCA logo, a sprawling car-centric context, and voluminous spaces, a choice was made to open up the interior and use diverse colors, materials and geometric forms on the exterior to draw attention to the new facility. By incorporating daylighting strategies, Kalwall skylights and cutting through the building envelope to add windows with complementary color temperature LED lighting, energy consumption is kept low all-the-while creating a more amenable interior space that seeks to enhance user comfort and well-being. A consicence effort is made to connect the user to the outside.


Arriving, members will be greeted by an expansive canopy. Skinning the new volumetric portions of the facade with metal paneling, Resysta, and painting other portions to minimize waste, our choice of materials and assemblies seeks to evolve the YMCAs current programmatic focus and aesthetic while doing so responsibly, creating what we believe is a culturally sustainable building. Trellis connections are simple, basic, either to the top to the bottom or to the side. Be they a bolt, weld, hook, hanger, pin, or in our case a slot, when done right, they are poetic, magical and a thing of beauty. We strove to subtly express how a slot is beautiful. By supporting colorfully trellis purlins that pitch up, its role is poetically grounding allowing the geometric sleight of hand to trick the eye.


The Mays Family YMCA at Potranco is located at the intersection of a Highway access road and a prominent commercial corridor abutting an open storm sewer. Surrounded by a paved access road, a vestige of the builds previous use, few opportunities exist for visual connectivity to the exterior. In addition to the North the facility requires a large parking are to accommodate over 250 spaces for peak demand. Posing challenges in how interior planning would address access, views, and light, the design choices address managing access from one building side into the facility, while still providing a clear and ample circulation path. Additionally, open views address visually connecting members to the few amenable green spaces adjacent to the building with a focus on providing natural light within the heart of the building.


$7.9 Million (Total Construction Cost) The surprising low cost of the building overhaul at $131.67/SF before factoring in the purchase of the building resulted in a far lower total project cost than would have been achieved with new construction.

Floor Plans