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

Maryland Heights Community Recreation Center


“The elegant curves of the highway facade create a unified and powerful image for this comprehensive community recreation center.” — Anita Moran

The Maryland Heights Community Recreation Center is a dynamic new hub for recreational sports, wellness and civic engagement located in a west St. Louis community. Situated prominently along the city’s beltway and adjacent to Maryland Heights’ outdoor water park, the center offers a prominent destination for residents, with significantly improved space and a greater variety of activity areas for community use over the former facility on the same site.

“The use of the site, the building form and design solution to protect the interior from highway noise are excellent.” — Don Jones

The new center maintains key elements to support the unique community programs the previous facility offered. Key recreation features include a two-court multi-use activity court, group exercise rooms, expanded weights and cardio training areas, a cycling studio, an indoor walking/jogging track, and a three-lane indoor family pool. Community amenity spaces include a multi-use events space, a preschool, a babysitting area, dedicated senior space, meeting rooms and a police substation. The center also creates new green space for outdoor recreation and expands parking.

Upon opening, the center became an instant source of pride for the community of Maryland Heights when more than 2,000 residents visited the grand opening. In its first eight months of operation, the center welcomed 84,000 visits from members, had an attendance of more than 38,000 for its rental facilities, has seen 5,000 seniors attend senior programs, and has served hundreds of children with disabilities. The building is an icon for the city and is already driving measurable value and positive impact for Maryland Heights and the greater St. Louis community.

“A bold concept, rooted in a functional need, is detailed with craft and rigor.” — Adam Bastjan

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