Facilities of Merit 2012: Morrow-Garrison Complex/Student Recreation & Wellness Center Renovation and Addition - University of Central Missouri

Morrow-Garrison Complex/Student Recreation & Wellness Center Renovation and Addition - University of Central Missouri

Warrensburg, Mo.
Year in Showcase: 2012

Project Description

Students approved fees to construct a new recreation and fitness center as an expansion of the historic Morrow-Garrison Recreation Center on the central campus of the University of Central Missouri. This coincided with state funding to renovate the Morrow-Garrison complex as the new home of the university's growing Department of Health and Human Performance. However, neither project was adequately funded to fully meet the programs envisioned. Instead, a natural synergy was leveraged by blending student recreation and fitness with the academic side of health and wellness in one complex, complete with shared practice courts, fitness areas, wellness classrooms and locker rooms.

The resulting design builds on the notion of blending programs by mixing new construction with the historic stone buildings. An existing north gymnasium was renovated for new academic spaces, while a utilitarian 1960s-era gym addition to the south has been transformed into a contemporary center for recreation and fitness. Both programs come together at the Morrow gymnasium, providing a central entrance commons.

Windows that had been covered over in the Morrow gym were reopened, and new clerestory windows were introduced to the south gym to harvest daylighting. Wood flooring in the north gym was preserved and is now featured throughout the administrative offices and classrooms, while wood flooring in the south gym was recycled into cladding for the entrance desk and fitness center offices. Exterior stone walls of the original Morrow gym, covered over with the later south gym addition, were uncovered, reconditioned and are featured in the renovated space. The addition takes advantage of its northern exposure with a glass curtainwall, washing the main fitness floor with natural light.


Judge's Comments

The addition respects the original building very well, just by bringing a little bit of a glass element in front of the existing building, and reinforcing the location of the front door in a manner that doesn't take away at all from the building behind.
— Amado Fernandez, Hughes Group Architects

The curtainwall could have been a real challenge in terms of being sympathetic to the original structure, but it was handled in such a skillful manner that the scale of it is very compatible.
— Jim Kalvelage, Opsis Architecture

I thought it was the best example of how with minimal intervention you can get maximum results.
— Viktors Jaunkalns, MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects

Project Details

Architect: Gould Evans; Kansas City, Mo.
PROGRAMMING CONSULTANT: Brailsford & Dunlavey; Washington, D.C.
Construction Cost: $28.2 million
Square Feet: 145,951
Occupancy: January 2011

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