Richard and Norma Small Athletic and Wellness Center, Cornell College 

Mount Vernon, Iowa
Construction Cost: $17.5 million
Area / Square Feet: 44,624 (renovation), 21,689 (addition)
Occupancy Date: October 2022

With a mission to better serve its students’ health and wellness needs, Cornell College engaged designers to create a modern and unique home for the athletic and wellness programs. College leadership immediately understood the renovation and expansion project would directly support Cornell’s ability to recruit new students, enhance Rams athletics programs, secure competitive events, and provide a positive impact on every student and student-athlete, now and for future generations.

Located just off the new entry, a two-level Health and Wellness Center creates a vibrant hub for campus life and fosters a sense of community. The addition and renovation include an expanded lobby area that functions as a gathering space before and after events in the renovated gymnasium and fieldhouse on event days, and as a vibrant student lounge 

on all other days. In addition, the design provides Cornell with ample team meeting space, group exercise studios, a full athletic office suite and a new athletic training suite. Updated locker rooms serve student-athletes, visiting teams and the entire Cornell community.

The addition, which houses the entry lobby, the Health and Wellness Center, athletic offices and athletic training, is specifically located to take advantage of as much of the existing building as possible. This initial planning move not only saved construction costs, but also provided a finished facility where many spaces are visually open to each other. The openness and transparency showcase the vibrancy of the facility to everyone who enters, and is an experience vastly different than that offered by the existing building.


Kahler Slater

Milwaukee, Wis.