Gary M. Sumers Recreation Center and Athletic Complex
Washington University’s historic Francis Gymnasium has been transformed into a 21st century fitness, athletic and recreation center. The new Gary M. Sumers Center energizes campus and enhances recruitment amongst the University’s elite academic peers and provides a home for WashU’s varsity athletic programs.
Locker rooms for recreation users as well as varsity athletes and visiting teams are located in the lower level of the center. This level also includes a varsity lounge, a training suite and meeting space.
A new three-court gymnasium with a suspended running track was added to the south of the existing field house, consolidating the majority of recreation space into one zone served by a separate controlled entry. This zoning of venues allows for uninterrupted recreational use on game days.
All floors in the original entry “head house” were removed which creates a multi-story space through which a bridge connects old and new. This also addressed accessibility issues and complicated wayfinding that existed.
The gymnasium level includes 11,956SF of fitness space, a concessions area, a spinning room, storage space and offices. Along with the elevated track, a juice bar, a multipurpose room and support facilities for wellness services and the recreation department are housed above the fitness area. A new entry plaza and new pathways leading to the facility entrance create a welcoming environment. The sidewalk that borders the west edge of campus was widened to include a paved biking path, improving student safety.
The comprehensive center allows students to have their athletic, recreation, fitness and wellness needs in one easily-accessible location.