The 1st Choice Savings Centre for Sport and Wellness has been a welcome modern addition to the University's Physical Education building, but not much has changed to the core of the nearly 40-year-old facility. That will change over the summer as the PE building gets a facelift.
Beginning in early May, the existing mechanical and electrical systems will be upgraded, as well as some much needed renovations to several areas of Levels 0, 1 and 2.
"It'll be a much more comfortable facility in terms of climate. It's going to be significantly brighter," says project manager Jason Baranec.
Aside from a few minor restorations, the PE building hasn't changed since the 1970s when it was first built. When complete, the renovations will reflect the Wellness Centre, creating a more cohesive environment.
"The driver for this project is the mechanical, electrical and infrastructure upgrades, and then we're doing what we can architecturally to make it look as though the Wellness Centre and the PE building were all built at the same time," says Baranec.
Renovations include new doors and exteriors to the southeast, southwest and northeast entrances, and linear solar tubes, similar to skylights, which will illuminate the main concrete staircase in the PE building.
"It achieves the same purpose as a skylight except without having to cut too much concrete," says Baranec. "There's going to be a lot of natural daylight."
The kinesiology research labs on Level 2 will also be updated with new paint, lighting and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems. Offices on the same level will receive new flooring in addition to the upgrades. Room PE250 will get new windows, and PE275 will see new carpet and millwork. Day-use change rooms on Level 1 will also get an overhaul. The addition of "info walls" which integrate seating and bulletin boards will provide more gathering spaces in the building.
The majority of the work is expected to be complete before the start of classes in September.
The project was made possible with a $5.6 million grant from the Alberta government.
The creation of a new sports medicine clinic is another construction highlight happening in the Wellness Centre this summer.
The clinic will be located in the PE100 space below the south end of the running track. Once complete, it will house up to four physicians and associated support staff. The space will feature physiotherapy and exam rooms, treatment areas and doctor's offices.
Project Manager Gene Lublinkhof says the clinic has always been in the plans for the Centre.
"There was space allotted for it from day one," he says.
As with the PE building renovations, the clinic's design will also reflect the rest of the Wellness Centre façade. Construction is slated to begin in May, with completion anticipated in the fall.
Although construction on both projects will be ongoing throughout the summer, arrangements have been made to cease work during Convocation and the Alberta Summer Games to avoid disruption.
This story first appeared in the May issue of the Legend. For a look at the full issue in a flipbook format, follow this link.