Shirk Center Expansion
Illinois Wesleyan University (IWU) engaged Hastings+Chivetta (H+C) to design an addition to the Shirk Athletic and Recreation Center. Originally designed by H+C in 1994, IWU required an addition concept to accommodate an increase in student demand for activity and support space.
H+C worked with representatives from the Departments of Athletics, Recreation and Wellness to develop multiple addition concepts. The addition includes nearly 20,000 sf of space on the western side of the existing center, and provides views into the existing activity center as well as the nearby football stadium. The addition is designed to harmonize with the architectural character of the existing facility.
75% of the upper level space accommodates fitness equipment (cardiovascular, circuit training and free weight stations), the greatest area of student demand. A new enclosed Spinning Studio relocates the spinning bikes from current location in the natatorium’s wet classroom, restoring it to its original purpose. A large divisible Multipurpose Room in the new addition provides classroom and meeting space for varsity athletics. The fitness center expansion will be fully enclosed and monitored from a new check-in area.
The lower level of the addition offers four locker rooms – two each for men and women – with more than 200 lockers. An adjacent storage area would provide Athletics with nearly 3,000 sf of space