Colby College’s new 350,000 sq. ft. Harold Alfond Athletics and Recreation Center features an indoor aquatic center, a 200-meter track, squash court, and hockey arena as well as coaching and training suites. With a bold yet elegant design that complements Colby’s traditional campus architecture, the entire three-floor building was developed to emphasize daylight and openness, maximize views into venues, and intuitively articulate the building’s organization - conveying a sense of intimacy despite its expansive scale.
Featuring the only 50-meter pool in the state of Maine, the aquatic facility seats 600-plus spectators, making it a prime venue for hosting large championship meets. Two moveable bulkheads can be flexibly configured to provide multiple short-course fields of play. Divers benefit from a diving well with 1 and 3-meter boards and an adjacent built-in whirlpool. Ample deck space integrates additional competitor seating and accommodates lane line storage space below deck. Dedicated locker rooms for the home team, faculty, and staff, as well as for general use and individual/private use, serve a variety of users.
The aquatic facility and swimming pool are especially notable for their efficient, sustainable design. Using a Myrtha Pools construction system, CO2 emissions were cut by 50 percent during construction of the pool compared to traditional pool construction made using reinforced concrete and by up to 30 percent compared to pools made utilizing welded steel. Waste heat from the nearby ice rink heats the pool using a glycol-loop heat exchanger. Regenerative media filtration was used in lieu of of sand filtration, resulting in a backwash water savings of up to 420,000 gallons per year. Variable ventilation rates are used based on occupancy to ensure air quality and thermal comfort while conserving energy.
The facility is also tracking toward a LEED Gold certification. Key sustainability components in the new center include optimizing natural resources (e.g. daylight harvesting), minimizing embodied carbon, and reducing energy and water use as well as carbon and greenhouse gas emissions.