Loras College has long been known for its picturesque Rock Bowl Stadium and now has a new hub with the completion of an athletics and wellness center. Located in the center of campus, the Athletics and Wellness Center serves as a hub for activity for athletes and all students at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. The center houses a 1,750-seat arena, locker rooms, workout spaces and equipment areas.
The varied terrain on the college campus has been known to pose its challenges for students. David Leapaldt designed the building circulation in such a way to help students more easily navigate the elevation change the separates the lower campus from the upper campus.
The team executed a variety of design techniques to create comfortable, inviting spaces – despite their large size. First, the 74,000-square-foot facility covers the terrain in three distinct structures. A roof truss design in the arena creates interest amidst the scaling ceilings necessary for volleyball and basketball courts. On the exterior, louvers, large dormers, brick and decorative case concrete units tie the facility into the historic buildings that surround it.
The design team analyzed the building’s projected energy usage with the Energy Design Assistance Program and identified strategies to reduce the building’s annual energy expenses. The completed facility includes high performance windows and occupancy and daylight sensors. The center also features a ground source heat pump with varied pumping. That feature alone is projected to reduce annual heating and cooling costs by 50 percent. A series of sustainable materials help reduce maintenance costs while enhancing the overall appearance.
This project was a part of the Loras College Master Plan that David Leapaldt worked alongside the college to develop.
*Work performed by David Leapaldt while Principal at Grooters, Leapaldt Tideman Architects PC.