Located on the prominent northwest corner of Mount Marty University’s campus, the Ruth Donohoe First Dakota Fieldhouse provides a mix of recreation and athletics spaces and serves as a much-needed community resource. The siting of the structure defines the edge of campus, parallel to a primary city transportation artery. The exterior of the building is an attractive combination of metal panel, concrete and glass — a durable palette that gives strong complementary architectural character to the MMU campus.
The facility is designed around a two-volume structure that creates function-organized activity zones and recreational spaces. The smaller of the two volumes wraps the base of the building in a dark grey ribbed facade with large squared windows and a sleek recess revealing a golden sloped face cut-out of the dominant dark form. This wrapped corner approach establishes the entry and gives views into the recreation, fitness and public spaces. The larger white mass, set back from users for scale, houses the 74,000-square-foot indoor track and field, synthetic turf and practice/recreation basketball space.
Inside the facility, rooms and areas are designed to flex, meeting the day-to-day needs of the general student population while emphasizing team performance and practice venue requirements for athletics. Training space can open to the fieldhouse for prehab, rehab or exercises, and corridors give athletics additional locker space. The building provides space for two community partners, allowing the public and MMU students access to unique services. It will help attract and retain students, faculty, staff and visitors alike to campus.