Recreation brings individuals together and builds communities around common interests. Rarely is that more evident among chosen Facilities of Merit® than it is with the 2018 class of 10 winning projects — which includes campus and community recreation centers, an aquatics center, a sports complex, an intramural building and two YMCAs. Even facilities housing intercollegiate athletics also make ample room for wellness enthusiasts.

Facilities of Merit winners were selected in July by a panel of seven architects at the conclusion of two days of deliberations at AB Media headquarters in Madison, Wis. Next month, the architects, consultants and facility owners behind each winning project will be honored at a reception at the Athletic Business Conference & Expo in New Orleans.

Thanks to all 62 entrants for helping ensure the program’s high level of competition, and congratulations to the 2018 Facilities of Merit. — The Editors

York Recreation Center


“This compact design draws its strength from its dramatic roof design and large expanses of glass.” — Anita Moran

Strategically located at a major arterial intersection, the York Recreation Centre is a new community focal point for three distinct but challenged neighborhoods. The building provides much-needed facilities and programs within its 70,000 square feet, including an aquatics center, a gymnasium, a fitness center, a preschool room and multi-use rooms with associated ancillary and change-room spaces.

“I appreciate the clarity and crispness of the design along with the attention to detail in coordinating exposed building systems.” — Stephen Springs

Internally, the site benefits from an adjacent park and a beautiful ravine. Conceived as a large pavilion, the setting creates a natural backdrop for many of the spaces. The building’s architecture capitalizes on this relationship with a light and transparent structure that invites panoramic views of the park, and a large communal porch that enables activities to spill outside during the summer months.

The project advocates a green approach to both the site and building, employing several energy- and water-conservation features in its design. A large green roof serves as a prominent feature and doubles as a rainwater collector and sunlight harvester.

Using bold colors and generous areas of glazing, the York Recreation Centre blends with its natural ravine setting while asserting a strong presence to the streetscape. In its first month of operation, the building became an important symbolic landmark embraced by the community, with more than 10,000 residents signing up for various programs and activities.

“The overall material choice and bold, strategic placement of color inside and out really set this project apart from others. The design achieves a nice balance between interior and exterior spaces providing a 360-degree experience for the public.” — Doug Barraza

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