Menefee Architecture and Cannon Design collaborated on the design of Spelman College’s new 61,540 square foot Fitness and Wellness Center at Read Hall. This significant project for Spelman College received LEED Gold certification, propelling their campus wide Wellness Revolution. This facility represents sustainability on multiple levels – of mind, body, and the environment. For more on the project, visit Wellness Center at Read Hall.
Spelman College, a historic liberal arts college for black women located in Atlanta, made international news in the fall of 2012 when they elected to discontinue their intercollegiate sports program, in which a limited 80 students participated, in favor of a wellness initiative to serve all of their 2,100 students. Faced with the dissolution of their current athletic conference, Dr. Tatum began asking questions regarding the challenges and expense associated with joining a new conference and weighing that against the strong need for what Spelman has termed “Fitness Literacy” within their campus and community as a whole.
The need is urgent, and it is our population —young black women— that is among the most at risk for negative health outcomes. Committed to educating the whole person, mind, body and spirit, we have an opportunity to change this epidemic. Ending intercollegiate participation may seem counterintuitive, given our focus on physical activity, but instead of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars transporting a small number of athletes to intercollegiate events, we will be investing those dollars in intramural programs and wellness activities that can be sustained for a lifetime.
—excerpted from Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum’s article, “Why Wellness” in Inside Spelman.
The facility open in 2015 and houses a teaching kitchen and wellness classroom, gymnasium with indoor running track, 4-lane swimming pool, (4) multipurpose rooms for dance, yoga, spinning, zumba and other fitness classes, and weight training /aerobic equipment with supporting locker rooms and administrative offices.
The project is located on the historic campus oval and is the 4th project on the oval that Menefee Architecture has had the pleasure of working on during our long-standing relationship with Spelman College. Others include Laura Spelman Hall, Rockefeller Hall, and Packard Hall.
It is truly gratifying to participate in the realization of a building where the ramifications for its benefit extend so far beyond the built walls. To quote Spelman’s Director of Facilities, Art Frazier, “This is so much more than just a building.”
Learn more about Spelman’s Wellness Revolution