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  Skinner Family YMCA, Page 50Skinner Family YMCA
Gresham Smith & Partners 
5220 Belfort Road, #100, Jacksonville, FL 32256

Jacksonville, Florida
Total Square Feet: 10,056
Construction Period: April 1999 to Jan 2000

Construction Team
General Contractor: Schultz/Angelo Group, Inc. - 11363 San Jose Boulevard, Building 300, Jacksonville, FL 32223
Structural Engineer: McVeigh & Mangum Engineering, Inc. - 9250 Cypress Green Drive, #202, Jacksonville, FL 32256
Electrical & Mechanical Engineer: Tilden Lobnitz Cooper - 1809 Art Museum Drive, #105 Jacksonville, FL 32207
Landscape Architect: C.R. Woods & Associates - 830 South 3rd Street, #204, Jacksonville, FL 32250

The Skinner Family Branch YMCA was conceived to provide community fitness services to the Concourse Office Complex and the growing corporate community in the Southpoint area of Jacksonville, Florida. The original project scope included 10,000 square feet of fitness space and 5,000 square feet of office space for the YMCA Metropolitan Office. Provision for expanded fitness space could be accommodated by an additional 5,000 square feet. Through a long process of defining project scope and budget, the YMCA decided to construct the facility at 10,000 square feet. The programmatic requirements accommodate wellness and aerobic space, free weight training, locker/restrooms, staff offices, conference room, laundry room, and reception/ lobby area.

The property for the project exists adjacent to the Concourse Office Complex and is comprised of 2.6 acres that resides on a large pond. The geometry of the property created challenging site development conditions for future expansion and relationships to site features. The main factor controlling the building's organization include the view to the lake at the site's north edge and the buildings orientation to this amenity in relation to property boundaries and vehicle/pedestrian arrival. 

The buildings concept is defined by the wellness center's organization and its composition of two square volumes that rotate about the building's midpoint, creating a vertical hierarchy. The lower volume spaces of the locker rooms and smaller program areas become appendages revealed by the shifting of the fitness centers main volume. The axis of the main volume orients the user's view to the lake while creating the wellness center entry canopy to the south.

The entry canopy creates an identifiable high-profile entrance to the facility. The canopy is supported by a sign pier that creates the most significant element on the front facade and indicates the facilities function to the surrounding corporate environment. A curved wall aligning with the canopy sign pier and extending through to the building core, separates the aerobic area from the wellness area and other facility functions. A series of punched storefront window units create a random, yet whimsical, composition allowing various glimpsing views to the rooms activities. Further along, the wall transitions into a low header that separates the free weight training area from the wellness area. Under this header, a low wall that doubles as a resting bench adds additional spatial separation between the two programmatic functions. 

The YMCA mandates a minimum 10- foot ceiling height for all wellness and free weight training areas. In order to meet the strict budget requirements, the overall building height had to be reduced creating interior spaces less than 10 feet with a finished ceiling. A painted exposed bar joist ceiling was utilized throughout the lobby and wellness areas creating a light and open space thus eliminating the requirement for a finished ceiling. The painted mechanical duct work is left exposed and is installed between the webs of the bar joists.

On the exterior, the wellness area is surrounded by an aluminum storefront window system that addresses the morning sun on the east and diffused light to the north. The locker/restrooms reside as the massive anchoring element to the right of the entry. Due to maintenance and durability concerns of the YMCA, this area was constructed of concrete masonry units. The exterior is skinned in EIFS while the interior face of the block is epoxy painted.

DIV 07: EIFS: Acrocrete; Built-Up Roof: Johns-Manville.
DIV 08: Entrances & Storefronts, Metal Doors & Frames: Kawneer; Glazing: Pilkington North America.
DIV 09: Carpet: Shaw; Tile: Dal-Tile, Crossville Ceramics; Wood Flooring: Tembec; Gypsum Board: United States Gypsum; Paint: ICI Paints, Benjamin Moore; Acoustical Tile: United States Gypsum.
DIV 10: Toilet & Bath Accessories: Bradley.

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