Georgia Tech Buildings Receive Accolades

The Campus Recreation Center has received three honors in 2005

Georgia Tech's campus is filled with award winners, but most of the campus community may not know that the buildings they frequent are among those with honors.

So far this year, the Campus Recreation Center has been honored by Recreational Management Magazine (Outstanding Facility), the National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association (2005 Outstanding Sports Facilities Award) and Building Design and Construction Magazine (Gold Award).

"The fact that they basically started with an existing structure and built around it and made it an exciting building," said Mike Patterson, director of Design and Construction in Tech's Facilities Division, referring to the fact that the Campus Recreation Center was built around the Aquatic Center left over from the 1996 Olympics.

"The design firm we hired realized what they had with the height of the steel beams left over from the Aquatic Center. They knew what a great view they had. It is such an open building from a visual standpoint, but yet it is enclosed so that you can have the other recreational things going on, like handball and other sports. It is a great building from that standpoint."

Michael Edwards, director of campus recreation, says that students, faculty and staff all appreciate the quality of the Campus Recreation Center.

"Although the CRC combines aesthetically pleasing design and engineering innovation to create one of the nation's premier university recreation centers, it also demonstrates the commitment to a higher quality of student life Georgia Tech has made to its student body," says Edwards.

Patterson says that awards are nice but not necessarily a goal of each building project.

"We don't usually apply for the awards. It is usually an organization or a vender associated with the building," says Patterson. "We do have a great deal of pride that is associated with each project, and everyone likes to be recognized for the quality of their work."

For each building project, Facilities assembles a team that can work on that building for three years or more. Patterson says that is one reason why Facilities employees take ownership and pride in each building.

"I think it is important for anyone to get recognition," says Patterson. "It shows you're doing quality work. We have a big ownership with each project too, not only because we're from Tech, but also because we've had that experience for an extended amount of time. We very much get involved from the design process all the way through construction."

Patterson says there are many factors that determine the direction of the design and look of a building. Among them are functionality and making sure that a building fits into the surrounding area.

"As you look across campus, you can see there are many different periods of architectural design that don't match. So we really have a mixed campus," says Patterson. "We really try to look at each building and try to match it to the surrounding area."

Technology Square is another successful project that was honored with seven awards during 2003 and 2004. In 2004, the Urban Land Institute honored the new buildings with their Local Project of Excellence Award and the Development of the Year Award. The complex reunited Georgia Tech's campus with Midtown, fitting nicely into the urban environment.

Georgia Tech has several buildings under construction now and others that will undergo renovation. According to Patterson these projects all present the possibility for Georgia Tech to continue its new tradition of buildings that earn prestigious accolades.

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