Republished from UNM Newsroom’s UNM selects FBT Architects to design Johnson Center Expansion and Renovation Project
3/24/17

The University of New Mexico has selected local firm FBT Architects, teamed with Hastings+Chivetta Architects, to design UNM’s Johnson Center Expansion and Renovation Project on main campus.

After a competitive process that attracted architectural teams from across the country, UNM selected the FBT/Hastings+Chivetta team to design the project. This will be the first phase in an all-encompassing program to renovate and expand the Johnson Center, previously known as Johnson Gym.

The overarching goal of the recreation center revitalization is to allow the University to achieve its long-term vision to provide the students, faculty and staff with 21st century recreation facilities and create a new destination for UNM’s campus.

“With JCER, Planning, Design and Construction saw an exceptionally qualified professional group competing for architectural design and construction services,” said Amy Coburn, University Architect / Director of Planning, Design & Construction. “I’m very excited to be working with FBT/Hastings+Chivetta and Jaynes on this long awaited recreation project.”

UNM kicked off a planning effort in November, and had previously sought input from students and campus employees. Students expressed a desire for facilities that support an active lifestyle while on campus. Some ideas that came out of the process include a new Multi-Activity Court (MAC), a rock climbing and bouldering wall, racquetball/handball courts, an expanded Outdoor / Bike shop and an indoor running/walking track.

The FBT/Hastings+Chivetta team is currently designing the new facility and is working closely with Johnson Center and University personnel throughout the process. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2018 with a target date for completion in December 2019.

Leading the design team is Susan Johnson, principal and director of Higher Education for FBT Architects. FBT Architects has a 20-year relationship with UNM and has completed 24 projects across all of UNM’s campuses including the recent renovation and addition to Castetter Hall and the new McKinnon Center at Anderson School that is currently under construction.

“FBT has a deep understanding of UNM and their campus and a successful track record for delivering and managing large, complex projects,” said Susan Johnson. “What excites me about this project is the contribution the facility is going to make towards creating healthy lifestyles on UNM’s campus.”

Hastings+Chivetta designs collegiate recreation centers across the country and the Mountain West, and has completed work for Colorado State University, UNLV, and the University of Nevada, Reno. Led by Erik Kocher, design principal, Hastings+Chivetta, will collaborate with FBT to create a design solution that supports UNM’s vision for the project.

“There are so many fun possibilities for the Johnson Center revitalization,” said Kocher. “We are especially looking forward to creating a welcoming and invigorating environment for students, faculty and staff that is open and transparent to the campus and the community.”

“We are excited about this project and the opportunities it offers,” said Art Tatum, FBT Architects. “Initial design thinking is focused on maximizing their budget to get the most visual impact and improving functionality to clarify and simplify circulation. We’re focused on creating both a functional and exciting interior experience for users.”

After a competitive process that attracted construction companies from across New Mexico, Jaynes Corporation was recently awarded the Construction Manager at Risk Contract (CMAR) and is now on board as part of the collaborative team effort.

Leading this work for Jaynes will be Project Manager Rusty Hiers and Superintendent James Trujillo. After spending a majority of his professional career building on UNM’s Main Campus, for Hiers and the Jaynes team, this project means another opportunity to serve the UNM community and re-build an important facility for the UNM’s Main Campus.

“After spending a majority of my career on the UNM Campus helping build and renovate iconic buildings, this is by far one of the most exciting and challenging projects of my career. More than ever I’m looking forward to returning to the campus with our proven team,” said Hiers.

James Trujillo says he is excited to be working on another project for the University of New Mexico. “Working with a great Owner, Architect, and our team, we are looking forward to completing another successful project,” he said.

Rounding out the project team are local companies Walla Engineering Structural Engineer, Bohannan Huston Civil Engineer, Bridgers & Paxton MEP Engineers, Groundwork Studio Landscape Architecture, Balis & Company Cost Estimating, Geotest Geotechnical Engineers and EDI Integrative Sustainability Consultants.

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