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Oberlin College, Jesse Philips Physical Education Center Renovation and Expansion

Oberlin, OH
Construction Cost: 12,900,000
Area / Square Feet: 36,300 SF
Occupancy Date: September 2018

The new Jesse Philips Physical Education Center prioritizes self-care and brings together physical and emotional wellbeing. Ultimately, the center hopes to encourage “wellness for life” — not just for athletes, but for the community as a whole. The hallmark of the facility is its accessibility for people of all needs. This approach was developed in the spirit of the college’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

The center is one in a series of renovations and additions as part of the campus-wide master plan. The new size and configuration allow for much greater flexibility and additional uses. The addition of fitness and wellness components not only address space deficiencies but support positive recreation and wellness experiences for students. Indoor and outdoor student lounge spaces were strategically placed to enhance passive and active student wellness. The addition was designed to blend seamlessly with the original building, creating a consistent, updated feel both on the exterior and interior.

The pool uses a regenerative media filtration that reduces the pool’s water consumption by approximately 90 percent compared to a conventional sand-filtration system, while reducing heating and chemical costs, as well. Other conservation measures include an efficient building envelope with carefully orientated windows and shading devices; high-volume, low-speed fans for efficient air movement; high-performance HVAC equipment and controls; and an onsite rain garden to manage and treat storm water. The quantity and placement of glazing was judicious — providing daylighting and an inside/outside connection, while minimizing glazed areas to reduce energy consumption.