Trinity University

William H. Bell Center

Trinity University’s existing three-story 115,000 SF sports building was designed in 1962 to meet the varsity and recreational needs of the time. The university wished to transform the building into a state-of-the-art fitness, recreation, and activity center for students and faculty.

A new north wing, containing a natatorium, a multi-sport forum, and support facilities, was added to the existing building block. The resulting L-shaped plan creates a large outdoor plaza facing the university’s north campus. A three-story atrium entry placed in the corner of the plan serves as both a control point and central organizing element for the building’s interior.

The addition of a 32,000 SF facility includes an eight-lane, 137-foot stretch pool with movable bulkhead, one-meter and three-meter boards, and sauna and steam rooms. The complete renovation of the 57,000 SF existing facility includes racquetball and squash courts, a weight and fitness room, a multipurpose activity room, offices, a laundry room, and varsity and recreational locker rooms. The project also included a complete renovation of the 30,000 SF existing Earl C. Sams Center performance gymnasium, including seating, a hall of fame, a concessions area, and storage rooms.

Exterior massing, materials, and design imagery blend in with existing campus architecture. The painted metal and glass atrium and metal clad colonnade on the entry elevations, set against an articulated brick façade, invite entry and establish a degree of monumentality appropriate to the building’s function.


Project Details

    • Gross Square Feet
    • 119,000
    • Completion Date
    • 1992
    • Construction Cost
    • $ 12,500,000
    • City
    • San Antonio
    • State
    • TX
    • Client Type
    • Private
    • Enrollment
    • 1-2,500
    • Associate Firm
    • RVBK Architects


    • 1996
    • Outstanding Sports Facilities Award
    • NIRSA