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ARC's Middlebury College Squash Center Project

08.30.13 / Leslie DelleFave, AIA, LEED AP

Every other Tuesday I make the long and winding journey from Boston to Vermont to visit the site of ARC’s current Squash Center project at Middlebury College. The new 17,775 SF Center addition is directly linked to the school’s existing athletic complex and was designed as an extension of the facility, featuring nine new international-size squash courts. The facility will be connected by a large, sunlit lobby space that will serve as a major circulation space for visitors, students and athletes.

Construction for the Squash Center began in February 2013. Amid the blizzards and torrential rain storms that come along with working in New England, the schedule has managed to stay on track and the center is set to open in October, in time for the 2014 squash season that will commence in November.

The exterior envelope is made up of a rain screen panel system that sits on a board formed concrete base as well large expanses of curtainwall to allow an abundance of natural light into the space. We are using two different types of panels for the exterior finish – concrete fiber board and phenolic panels. To date, the majority of the curtainwall has been installed, leaving certain portions to be installed later after the large squash courts have been brought into the building. By building a mock up on site of each of the exterior envelope systems, our team was able to flush out all the details prior to starting the installation on the building. 

The Squash Center will have an open and energetic spectator seating area in the center surrounded by the 9 courts, allowing for viewing of multiple matches at one time. The squash courts are made up of a mixture of new and recycled components, including five courts that were saved prior to demolition in the new building; saving the college $150,000.  In the center of the seating area, there is a large skylight that will serve as the main source of light in the space.  Additionally, a fitness area will be available for teams that are not currently participating in a match to stay warmed up.

Sustainability has been at forefront of the decision making process employed by our Design Team.  The project is registered for LEED Gold certification. A number of sustainable design elements were incorporated including an energy efficient exterior envelope system as well as mechanical systems. In addition, in the spring of 2014, a vegetated roof system will be installed on the roof of the Center. The green roof is not only for sustainable purposes, but we envision this roof as an extension of the playing fields and preserving the views over the building from the existing third floor lounge. Our team has maintained an energy model throughout the design and construction process to ensure that our sustainable goals will be achieved.

Given the rigorous attention to detail that has gone into the design effort, the resulting building will be one in which both ARC and Middlebury College can take pride in.

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