New Projects: Gannon University; Rodney Smith Wellness Center; Provo City Recreation Center

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Work begins this month at Gannon University on a $12.5 million renovation and expansion of the student recreation and athletic facility.

(Rendering courtesy of The Collaborative Inc.)(Rendering courtesy of The Collaborative Inc.)

Work begins this month at Gannon University on a $12.5 million renovation and expansion of the student recreation and athletic facility (pictured). In addition to upgrading and modernizing the existing facility, the project will add a new indoor synthetic turf field house; a two-story expanded cardio, strength and fitness area; spaces for the school's new acrobatics and tumbling program, as well as its existing wrestling program; a varsity weight room; multipurpose rooms; a Human Performance Center; and lounge areas. A second phase will eventually expand the competition pool, athletic offices, team rooms and locker facilities. Both phases were designed by The Collaborative Inc. of Toledo, Ohio.

Northern Maine Community College has broken ground on two new projects. The 10,000-square-foot Rodney Smith Wellness Center will be an expansion of the existing A.K. Christie Complex, while the Akeley Student Center will be a renovation of existing space within the complex. A health-and-wellness-themed walking path will also be constructed as part of the project, designed by Bangor, Maine-based WBRC Architects.

Construction of a new Triple-A ballpark is now under way in El Paso, Texas. Kansas City-based Populous designed the $53 million facility, which will seat 9,500 and include office space, a weight training area and two retail stores. Expected to open in 2014, the ballpark will be home to the Tucson Padres, who will be renamed per the results of a communitywide contest.

Rowland Hall, a private school in Salt Lake City, has broken ground on the Richard R. Steiner Campus athletic fields as part of an overall $75 million expansion project headed by EHDD of San Francisco that will construct a new middle and high school campus. The two synthetic turf fields will be a welcome addition to the school's current athletic field, which is too small for regulation games, as well as provide additional space for gym classes. Later project phases will construct main and practice gymnasiums, a weight room and cardio area, an indoor track, a physical therapy room and locker rooms.

First Pitch

The University of Central Florida has released an athletic facilities development plan that includes $69.5 million in upgrades. Over the next several years, the school's Bright House Networks Stadium will undergo a 10,000-seat upgrade, an 18-court tennis complex will be built, Wayne Densch Sports Center will be renovated to include space for track and soccer, and the baseball stadium will be expanded to add 1,000 seats... The Baylor University Board of Regents has approved phase-one construction of an on-campus track and field stadium. The $13.6 million facility will be built along the far east side of the 93-acre Baylor Stadium property and accommodate 5,000 spectators, as well as include space for team locker rooms, a training room, a meeting room, equipment space and a 13,500-square-foot indoor practice facility... A $200,000 donation will fund the construction of a soccer and softball complex for the Hamilton School District in Sussex, Wis. Named in honor of its donors, the Halquist Youth Complex will feature 11 soccer fields, including one NCAA-regulation field, and two softball fields. The complex will be used primarily by the high school but will be open to community groups, as well. Pending rezoning and conditional use permit requests, construction could begin this fall.

Grand Openings

Provo (Utah) City Recreation CenterProvo (Utah) City Recreation Center
(photos © 2013 Paul Richer/Richer Images)

Riverfront Sports Park in Waterloo, IowaRiverfront Sports Park in Waterloo, Iowa
(Photo courtesy of Build our Ballparkn)

Aquatics Training Center at East Fort Bliss, TexasAquatics Training Center at East Fort Bliss, Texas
(Photos by Tiffany Kurak/Fort Bliss Family and MWR Marketing)

The long-awaited Provo (Utah) City Recreation Center (above) is now open. The $35 million project replaced an outdated recreation center that featured only racquetball courts and a pool. Designed by VCBO Architecture of Salt Lake City, the new 162,000-square-foot center includes a competition pool for high school meets, leisure pools and hot tubs, as well as basketball courts, child play areas, a running track and weightlifting facilities. Men's and women's locker rooms are supplemented with six family changing rooms. Party rooms, climbing walls and a skate park add to the center's appeal to a wide range of users... Riverfront Sports Park (below) in Waterloo, Iowa, celebrated the grand opening of its renovated baseball complex last month. The $900,000 project included, improvements to the park's eight diamonds, as well as new electronic scoreboards, signage, bleachers, picnic areas and sidewalks. The project was made possible through the assistance of the nonprofit Build Our Ballpark, which has provided support for the renovation or construction of 15 fields since its inception... The Aquatics Training Center (below) is now open at East Fort Bliss, Texas. The 50,000-square-foot facility houses three pools to support both military training and recreation: a 13-foot diving well, a multipurpose pool with climbing wall and an Olympic-size competition pool with movable bulkhead. The $15.1 million facility will help alleviate demand on the base's three existing pools, as well as serve as a programming model for aquatic construction on other bases. The pools are complemented by locker rooms, family changing areas and a training classroom.

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