Researchers are translating science into better performance at a new sports-medicine hybrid facility at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS). The Hybl Sports Medicine and Performance Center represents a first-of-it-kind facility and a novel new partnership between UCCS and Centura Health.
Both UCCS and Centura are benefiting from the seamless, real-time connections taking place between researchers, medical professionals, trainers, athletes and faculty members. Students are benefitting, too, through experiential learning and access to cutting-edge training tools and resources.
This is an example of a new type of higher-ed hybrid facility that brings together different departments—such as sports and health—in a shared footprint. To create these multipurpose facilities, schools partner with private organizations and institutions in an integrated approach that shares costs and knowledge while jointly pursuing new discoveries.
Spaces in the Hybl Sports Medicine and Performance Center include altitude and environmental chambers; a nutrition lab and kitchen; a biomechanics lab; specialized training equipment for athletes with physical disabilities as well as firefighters and police officers; a sports medicine clinic; and a sports performance clinic. Flexible space supports telehealth rooms. Overhead doors on the second floor connect a tactical simulation gym to a 4,000-sq.-ft. outdoor training area on the roof of the first floor.
The Hybl Sports Medicine and Performance Center promotes the concept of “exercise as medicine.” Performance data recorded at the center helps research teams and clinicians develop protocols that prevent injuries and develop strategies for healthy living.
The design team created intentional “collision” spaces that enhance collaboration among the doctors, faculty researchers and students. These include a café open to the public, a 150-seat auditorium and small seating areas for spontaneous interaction. A monumental architectural stair connects the building’s four floors.
An administrative suite on the second floor gives other organizations and departments opportunities to lease space within the facility, fostering collaboration between public and private entities.
The brick- and metal-clad facility has a four-story, glass-enclosed entry. During the day, this window wall offers views of Pikes Peak to the west. At night, the high-performance glazing creates a lantern effect that offers passersby view of the activity taking place inside.
The steeply sloped site enabled the design team to place several program elements on two different pedestrian levels. The main student entrance is on the second floor of the east side, while the sports performance entry is at grade on the west side. Behind the building, a grassy knoll adjacent to the café links to the campus and provides space for casual gatherings.
The team designed the Hybl Sports Medicine and Performance Center for LEED Gold certification. High-performance building systems enhance occupant wellness and optimize energy and water use.
HOK collaborated with RTA on the design, with JE Dunn Construction serving as team lead for the design-build project.