St. Mary’s new recreation center was proposed as a way to consolidate recreation activities that were previously spread throughout the campus into one centralized location. The 60,000 square foot structure offers students and other community members high tech fitness equipment; yoga and spin class facilities; a rock climbing wall; indoor courts for basketball, volleyball, indoor soccer, and badminton; and an outdoor aquatic center. The facility hosts both club sports and intramural sports, and also includes a cafe with healthy snacks available to students.
The building is single-story throughout, with large, open spaces created by long-span steel roof trusses. The exterior was designed with a Mission Style aesthetic to blend well with the surrounding campus, some of which dates back to the 1930s.
The lateral force-resisting system consists of concentrically braced steel frames, many of which are expressed throughout the interior of the building, providing an open feel to the spaces while ensuring enhanced structural performance. The braces utilize proprietary Cast Connex® connections to minimize gusset plate sizes, eliminate the need for field welding, and provide a pleasing aesthetic.