After more than a century and significant feats, including hosting the 1904 Olympics — the first in the Western Hemisphere — the historic Francis Gymnasium has been reimagined as an innovative and inclusive facility that honors its historic legacy. The new LEED Gold-certified Gary M. Sumers Recreation Center, created through addition and renovation to the historic fieldhouse, energizes the campus and enhances recruitment efforts at this elite university.
The original entry to the Francis Field House was restored as the main access point from the expanded facility. All floors in the “head house” were removed, creating a multistory space through which a bridge connects old and new and serves as the primary control point for day-to-day users. A multistory fitness center is the heart of the plan, surrounded by multipurpose lounge and support spaces, with direct access to all other components of the project. The gymnasium level includes a large open fitness space, a concessions area, a group cycling room and offices. A juice bar, a multipurpose room, wellness services and department offices are housed above the fitness area.
A separate entry to the north is provided for controlled access to spectator events in the existing athletic complex, which was built in the 1980s. Expansive glass windows provide views into the recreation gymnasium, enhancing visibility and inspiring health and fitness in passersby. A new entry plaza and pathways leading to the facility entrance create a welcoming outdoor environment.