Ithaca College Athletic Center

Ithaca, NY

Ithaca College is located in Ithaca, N.Y., and is a campus rich with history. Founded in 1892, the campus has grown to serve the educational needs of more than 6,000 students per year. In addition to promoting academics, Ithaca College chose to create a new space for student events and athletics. The Ithaca College Athletic and Events Center reflects the campuses’ commitment to student recreation and the mission of sustainability as the $55 million, 179,000-squarefoot building is pending LEED Gold certification. The center includes a 50-meter Olympic sized pool with 1- and 3-meter dive platforms, a field house sized for a 200-meter track with separate throwing cage, and multiple indoor sports, including soccer, field hockey and lacrosse. The building itself is a mixture of 29,000 square feet of Moon Township, Pa.-based CENTRIA’s 2- and 3-inch Formawall insulated metal wall panels in Silversmith 9946, Platinum 9989 and Champagne Gold. CENTRIA also provided its 12-inch, 22-gauge, IW30-A panels with a 10-inch flush plane and 2-inch reveal in Silversmith 99. The building also features 18,500 square feet of Alucobond aluminum composite material (ACM) wall panels in Bermuda Cool Blue by 3A Composites USA Inc., Statesville, N.C.

Inhale, Exhale

One of the key features of the building is the way the building imitates the breathing of a student athlete. According to Howard Blaisdell, RA, LEED AP BD+C, senior associate and project manager with architect, Moody Nolan, Columbus, Ohio: “We started thinking about how could the building breathe in the same manner as an athlete breathes. Then we thought the better or more efficiently they breathe, the better they perform.” As a result, the field house was designed specifically with improved ventilation and air circulation so that the building would “breathe” better than a standard building.

Part of the air circulation concept is symbolized by the building’s tower. Both the building and the tower use a stack effect to create natural ventilation. With the tower, cool winds from the northwest come in and due to the stack effect, are pulled in. The warmer air rises, it moves along the ridge of the slope of the building. The air is then is transferred back into the height of the tower.

The tower is translucent with a curtainwall and glass front face from Tubelite Inc., Walker, Mich. “The curtainwall allows you to see into the tower,” explains Blaisdell. “[You can] see the warm air tower within the main in-take tower. The cool air portion wraps the warm air portion of the tower.” At the bottom of the tower are strategically placed skylights that allow visitors to look straight up into the tower.

Metal Mosaic
Moody Nolan was inspired by the many trees found on campus. As Blaisdell notes, “The building is like the mosaic of tree coloring where a tree is not one specific color, but blends in several different colors of leaves.” Shades of blue can be found within the tree-tone mosaic as the smooth blue Alucobond ACM panels are used as accent colors on the entrance’s tower and canopy, expressing the movement of the circulation within the tower. The shades of blue on the exterior columns are used to break up the length of the building and provide an accent feature.

The CENTRIA panels were used on the east and west sides of the field house to express the form of turning into the roof. Thinner panels were used as infill between these design elements. CENTRIA’s insulated metal wall panels were primarily used in three locations: the tower, the natatorium on the east side of the building, and at specific points on the exterior of the field house. For the tower and the natatorium, the use of insulated metal panels made the areas as insulated and energy efficient as possible. As for the use of insulated metal panels on the rest of the field house’s exterior, Blaisdell explains, “We used those to minimize the vertical nature of building, so a linear pattern of panels [was] ideal there.”

Leaning Toward LEED
From the outset, the project was designed to be sustainable in keeping with the values of Ithaca College. Blaisdell notes that LEED spreadsheets and opportunities were discussed amongst the design team and the owner. Ithaca College is home to two LEED Platinum buildings. “We looked at what we thought we could do and credits that were readily achievable,” he says. In addition, Ithaca College’s location is ideal as many of the building materials could be obtained within the 500-mile radius of the LEED local materials credit. “We used a lot of local stone. On the building, we used some natural stone as seating areas on the building area and plaza areas.” Between the local materials and use of metal, the building is in pursuit of LEED Gold certification. The end result is building that reflects the college’s mission of sustainability and provides a focal point for on-campus recreation.

  • Market Segment

    Higher Education

  • Architect Name

    Moody Nolan

  • Dealer

    CFE, Inc.

  • Contractor

    The Pike Company

  • LEED Certification

    Certified Gold