The Burns Wellness Commons is the foundation for academic, wellness, and sports and recreation programs at the College of St. Scholastica. The 186-acre campus of more than 2,000 students is situated among the hills overlooking Lake Superior. With a growing student population and a demand for an updated, functional student facility, the college charted a CAPACITY588COST PER SQ FT$212.27FEATURED IN2009 Architectural Portfolio to create a dynamic wellness center that would serve the collegiate community by providing a center for athletic programs, educational venues, recreation and athletics programming.
Challenged with significant elevation changes and a designated trout stream on the project site, the 33,000-square-foot "stepped" facility was designed to align with the sloping site and provides a walkout lower level for direct bus access to athletic and recreation programs. Stormwater-management techniques, such as pervious pavement, rain gardens and sand/peat filters, were used to maintain high water quality of runoff prior to entering the stream to avoid thermal and chemical changes in the water.