University Field House Minneapolis, MN

Project Category : College/University

Total Construction Cost : N/A

Total Gross Square Feet : 85,100

Approximate Cost Per Square Foot : N/A

How was the facility funded? : Government funds, University funds

Project Description:

Located on the East Bank of the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities campus, the University Field House has been a focal point for recreational and athletic activities on campus since 1949. Constructed in the early 1900s, this structure originally functioned as an airplane hangar in the state of Washington. After World War II, it was transported to the University of Minnesota to its current location on University Avenue. Named the Indoor Sports Building until 1954, the University Field House is managed by University Recreation and Wellness. Today, the facility is accessed by open recreation participants, the University of Minnesota’s Track and Field teams, School of Kinesiology classes, and a variety of other University and community users.

The $7.4 million project was prioritized by former president Eric Kaler and was funded primarily using state Higher Education Asset Preservation and Replacement (HEAPR) funds along with University funding. The Field House is part of the larger University Recreation and Wellness Center complex and is generally accessed through that front desk, however, special events utilize the event entrance. The main building is 80,000 square feet and the 200-meter track lanes come close to the exterior walls so every square inch of floor space is precious and preserved. Being on an urban campus further compounds space constraints.

The exterior facade panels of the Field House were weathered, aged, and in need of modification to both aesthetically enhance and extend the useful life of the building. The precast and brick portions of the exterior skin and envelope needed minor tuck-pointing and waterproofing, but were generally considered to be in fair condition.

The primary areas of concern on the exterior were the Cemesto board panels above the existing brick base; these were in poor condition with peeling paint, cracked and punctured panels, loose fasteners, and deteriorated wood batten strips. The Cemesto panels are composed of cement asbestos panels on each side of a sugar cane fiber insulation core. Any maintenance or modification that disturbed and/or modified the panels in any way would require coordination with the University of Minnesota Facilities Management Hazardous Materials Program. This includes altering the matrix of the material, including but not limited to drilling, cutting, sanding, or nailing.

Recent projects have repaired structural components, including select columns and column piers. The standing seam roof on the main structure was replaced in 2005, and remains. The existing windows were abated and replaced around 2013.

Over 112,800 lbs of Cemesto wall panels were abated and replaced with an Insulated Metal Panel System, including integrated aluminum glazing system and larger areas of curtain wall window system providing exterior and interior views. Informed by a series of daylighting studies, the ground level curtain wall system included a ceramic frit pattern at one face of the glass to mitigate glare and direct daylight impacting Field House activities and competitions. These windows provide an opportunity for integration of temporary and/or permanent banners or window film, highlighting Field House events. The previously existing wood mechanical louvers were replaced with metal louvers matching the finish and character of the insulated metal panel system. The defining design feature was the addition of a custom corrugated metal panel rainscreen over the insulated metal panels, playing with pattern densities to create a sense of acceleration along the buildings facade. Additionally, existing egress doors and openings were replaced and modified to provide additional egress, with glazed doors to provide additional views and daylighting.

The interior renovation elements saw the facility transform into a modern and versatile recreational and athletic space. The primary elements of the project include a resurfaced 6-lane, 200-meter track with lines for two basketball and two tennis courts in the interior of the track. The track area was resurfaced with Beynon BSS 1000 Hobart on top of the Mondo surface which was installed in 2006. Adjacent to the track is a vibrant 16,800 square foot Shaw Legion Pro turf field. The turf covers a polyurethane surface from the 1980s which was in deteriorating condition.

The event entrance was widened for accessibility, accentuating the entrance with lighting and double doors. An additional storage space was created from the project which houses program activity equipment and supplies. A new office space was constructed, the existing mechanical and ventilation system was enhanced and a sprinkler system was installed for code upgrades to support a capacity of 1,500 occupants.

Floor Plans