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Cal Baptist opens state-of-the-art recreation center

The 40,000-square-foot facility was designed by Irvine-based design firm KTGY

by Gabriel CortésPublished: February 04, 2013 08:45 AM

California Baptist University in Riverside has expanded its campus with a state-of-the-art recreation center that includes unique features like a two-story rock climbing wall and a rooftop soccer field. KTGY, the Irvine-based architecture firm, designed the new facility as the first part of a two-phase project that will conclude with the construction of a student bookstore and a 3,500-seat sporting arena.

Apart from the rock wall and the rooftop field, the 40,000-square-foot center features many other imaginative uses of space, including an innovative sports area that can be transformed to accommodate a collegiate basketball court, two intramural basketball courts or three volleyball courts. The complex also houses three racquetball courts, fitness rooms, a weight room, and a cheerleading practice space. The rooftop soccer field and running track, however, stand apart as examples of efficiently used space and environmentally minded design.

“Our innovative green design includes a useable rooftop with a soccer field and a running track covered with synthetic turf,” said Stan Braden, chairman and principal at KTGY. “The green roof helps cool the building and reduces the building's carbon footprint.”

In order to build the facility, KTGY and its construction partner, Steven Walker Communities, redeveloped an old shopping center near the Adams exit off Highway 91 in Riverside. Cal Baptist purchased the 13-acre Adams Plaza in 2006 and originally intended to convert it into a mixed-use facility with offices, restaurants and shops that could serve both students and local community members. Those plans were put on hold during the great recession, however, and in 2011, the university announced that it had amended its redevelopment plans and that it would instead build a recreation facility to better serve its 6,000 students.

KTGY is no stranger to developing construction projects for universities in Southern California. It spearheaded the Camino del Sol and Puerta del Sol student-living communities at UC Irvine, and in September, Chapman University broke ground on the $64 million Musco Center for the Arts for which KTGY handled the entitlement and processing with the City of Orange.

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