St. Francis High School needed to add athletic spaces to their downtown campus with limited opportunities to expand their building’s footprint. This basement wellness center renovation will incorporate more athletic amenities to better serve the students on campus. With a phased approach to align with fundraising, the wellness center is now complete, and the neighboring gymnasium construction will begin soon.
The school’s basement was primarily used for storage. A subterranean space with limited natural light and low ceiling heights, isn't ideal for a gym. As we designed to overcome these conditions, we regularly met with the client to show them detailed renderings of how we could maximize natural light and vertical space. As with many basements, this space housed much of the building's infrastructure , including plumbing, conduits, ductwork, electrical, and internet cables for the school and the 58 apartments that occupy the upper floors. To create open spaces with exposed high ceilings, the utility systems had to be strategically organized, making in-house collaboration among architects and electrical, mechanical, and structural engineers critical. Utilities were designed to relocate and run through a lowered ceiling in the hallways which allow offices and athletic spaces to have higher ceilings and an open atmosphere.
The newly renovated space supports:
- Weight room
- Turf area
- Athletic offices
In this complex limited space where many things had to be reworked and fit back in a precise way, an accurate audit was necessary. Analog pictures and measurements wouldn't cut it, so we utilized our in-house 3-D scanner to precisely capture the existing space, creating the data our multidisciplinary team needed to be aligned early in the project. Over the course of a couple hours, a single designer precisely documented the entire basement, allowing the rest of the team to virtually walk the space whenever and from wherever they needed. Not only could our team easily reference the site as needed throughout the design project, but they did so remotely, which was especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic.