The $22.9-million Gettysburg College Center for Athletics, Recreation and Fitness in Gettysburg, Pa., exemplifies quality and craftsmanship in a facility designed to attract students and members of the community to the campus and serve as a landmark for the college.

Photo Courtesy Kinsley Construction
Photo Courtesy Kinsley Construction

The building functions as a training, competition and classroom building for collegiate athletics in the fall and spring. In the summer it transforms into a home for athletic, spiritual and academic summer camps for regional youth.

Kinsley Construction of York, Pa., began work on the multiphased project, designed by Cannon Design of Grand Island, N.Y., in June 2008. The job included construction of a 55,000-sq-ft fitness area, multipurpose room and natatorium; 10,000-sq-ft renovation to the existing 1960s-era sports and recreation facility; and updates to the central energy plant.

The John Jaeger Tower, an 85-ft-tall, triangular structure, functions as a centerpiece for the athletic center. Each level of the tower rotates by 15 degrees clockwise from the level below. The tower’s complexity required daily collaboration between 10 individual subcontractors and five independent engineers.

A 35-ft-tall, free-standing climbing wall, constructed to mimic local rock formations, sits within the structurally glazed Jaeger Tower. The team constructed and installed the climbing wall before structural steel for the tower arrived onsite and erected the steel and skylight around the climbing wall.

The 20,000-sq-ft natatorium features a 50-meter pool, excavated and constructed after Kinsley completed erecting the building shell. While the interior excavation of 8,000 cu yds of material exceeded two weeks, it avoided scheduling concerns and allowed work to proceed through the winter.

The athletic center received LEED-Gold certification. The team incorporated many energy and waste reducing technologies into the facility.

One of the defining characteristics of the center, the thermal chimney, reduces energy consumption and enhances the natural ventilation for the building. The glass tower uses convection air heated by passive solar energy.

The company completed the project in December 2009 with no recordable injuries or safety violations.

Key Players

Developer/Owner: Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, Pa.
Construction Manager: Kinsley Construction
Architect: Cannon Design
Civil Engineer: KPI Technology
Structural Engineer: Cannon Design
MEP Engineer: Barton Associates