University of South Dakota Wellness Center

Vermillion, S.D.
Construction Cost: $12.3 million
Area / Square Feet: 56,195
Occupancy Date: January 2011

The facilities at the University of South Dakota's Dakota Dome were no longer able to adequately serve either student-athlete exercise and competition or general student recreation and fitness demands. The new standalone Wellness Center meets student recreation and wellness needs, as well as strengthens the sense of community among students and faculty outside the classroom. Highlights of the new facility include a 15,000-square-foot fitness center, a 38-foot-tall climbing wall, a multipurpose activity court, racquetball courts and group fitness rooms.

Natural light penetration and dynamic views are strong features of the folded-plate zinc roof system. Native granite was used to complement the zinc panels and brick masonry walls. A contemporary screen wall was incorporated at the main entry to shield against harsh winter winds.

Interiors of exposed steel and ductwork, locally quarried natural stone, polished concrete floors and punches of USD red emulate many of the exterior materials. Natural quartzite stone is a key material used throughout the project.

Phase two of this plan integrates a natatorium to the south, maintaining many of the visual connections of the central lobby hub.