Seattle University Connolly Center

  • Location: Seattle, WA
  • Year: 2015
  • Client: Seattle University
  • Architect: Gensler
  • Photos: YE-H Architectural Photography

Seattle University’s new entrance pavilion, athletic court, locker rooms, and amenities aim to enhance the gameday experience of the women’s basketball and volleyball programs to match those of their men’s counterparts (NCAA Title IX).

This occupied renovation was completed on a tight schedule in 3 areas of work. The first was new construction from the ground up of a concrete and steel ramp and pavilion that guides fans and guests to a new entrance on the second floor of the complex that leads directly to the new sports facilities. The second area included the demolition and reconfiguration of the corridors, concession stand, and locker rooms (for home, visitors, and recreational users), and the addition of public restrooms, including hazmat abatement, structural steel, and build-out of these areas. And finally, demolition, replacement, and reorientation of the existing North Court including new bleachers, painting, and state-of-the-art audio/visual system that included a new videoboard.

The entrance ramp and pavilion required full scale civil site work and construction of a concrete and steel structure on a very tight site with lots of student traffic adjacent to it. The design was a very complex and detailed system of concrete, embeds, stainless steel LED lighted handrails, steel guardrails, and 140 different custom laser cut pattern steel box panels (cassette frames) all of which came together for a beautiful result. The exterior steel was powder-coated for a consistent finish and time savings by allowing us to install in any weather. Our craftspeople self-performed the installation of the cassette frames on the pavilion and the LED handrail on the entrance ramp.

During construction we kept the rest of the building functioning during this intensive and invasive work, especially on a school campus and in a portion of a building that was connected to an occupied student fitness center, all while keeping all the athletic teams functioning. Additionally, we were able to keep the construction schedule to meet the deadline for the Redhawks women’s basketball team’s first game in the new facility.

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