The Associated General Contractors New Mexico Building Branch recently bestowed a Best Buildings Award on the new Las Cruces Regional Recreation and Aquatic Center. The $11-million, 35,000-sq-ft center opened in October and consists of a leisure pool, lockers, lobby, and core-and-shell for a future fitness center.

Copyright 2011 Patrick Coulie, Courtesy of BRS
The main entry of the $11-million, 35,000-sq-ft Las Cruces Regional Recreation and Aquatic Center, which opened in October.

The city of Las Cruces, N.M., commissioned Las Cruces-based Steve Newby Architects and Associates Inc. and Denver-based design architect Barker Rinker Seacat Architecture to design the Las Cruces Regional Recreation and Aquatic Center in late 2006. The multiphase project is part of an existing activity complex that includes basketball, soccer, inline skating, skateboarding, BMX, baseball, softball and playground facilities.

Phase 1B will see the buildout of the fitness center, gymnasium and community meeting rooms, with construction of a competitive lap pool to be completed in Phase 2 to round out the aquatic venue. The building’s exterior brings a contemporary interpretation to New Mexico’s rich and unique architectural vernacular.

“The daylit, two-story gallery space anchors the building and is a signature form for the center,” said Craig Bouck, principal and CEO of Barker Rinker Seacat Architecture. “This central gathering and circulation space organizes the building and frames spectacular views of the adjacent parks and distant mountains. It also provides convenient access to functions such as babysitting, a conference room, restrooms, a social lounge, party rooms and the future outdoor plazuela. Additionally, the gallery functions as the hub for access to areas such as the lockers and leisure pool, and future amenities, including a gym, aerobics rooms, fitness areas and a running track.”

Best Buildings Award nominees are judged by peers in the general contracting sector “on the complexity of the construction process” as well as “challenges such as budget, site constraints, schedule, and project delivery method.”
The award recognized Jaynes Corp., with headquarters in Albuquerque, for its outstanding execution of the Las Cruces project. Jaynes served as the project’s construction manager and general contractor. The commercial construction firm specializes in preconstruction, general construction, construction management and design-build services. Its parent company, the Jaynes Cos., operates in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Utah.

This year marks the AGC’s 22nd annual Best Buildings Awards. A reception for award recipients was held at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Albuquerque on April 23.