There is no shortage of things to do at the new South Kingstown (RI) Recreation Center, and no shortage of reasons why the 29,000 sq. ft., $6.4 million facility was constructed with a metal building system and components from A & S Buildings.
It was back in 2014 when South Kingstown contracted with Brewster Thornton Group Architects (BTGA) of Providence, RI to design a new recreation center. It was a project long overdue, having first been proposed back in 2002. BTGA joined with S3 Design of Braintree, MA on the building’s layout and contracted with a pair of Warwick, RI firms to provide the primary metal (All Steel Structures) and handle the general contracting duties Ahlborg Construction Corp.). Working together, the team turned the proposed rec center from dream to reality.
To say South Kingtown needed a new venue to host its social and recreational activities would be an understatement. Prior to construction of the new facility, the town’s 28,000 residents squeezed into the Neighborhood Guild, a converted stone mill building constructed in 1908. It was obvious a much larger building was needed, big enough to house a wide variety of sports and activities.
Before making its recommendations for the new recreation center’s layout and amenities, athletic building experts S3 Design met with concerned groups to see what they wanted. Taking community input into account, the firm then developed an interior plan that provides maximum flexibility of space use. BTGA then utilized that floor plan to design the new recreation center using metal building systems and components by A&S Building Systems, through its local builder, All Steel Structures.
In addition to steel framing, the project incorporates a number of panel systems from A & S and its sister NCI Building Systems companies. Those products include 19,200 sq. ft. of Double-Lok® standing seam roofing and 15,300 sq. ft. of the BattenLok® standing seam roofing, both with a Signature® 300 Medium Bronze paint finish, and 19,600 sq. ft. of the CF Mesa Metl-Span insulated metal panels in Signature® 300 Almond color.
Construction-wise, the new recreation center was created using two integrally-attached pre-engineered metal buildings. The smaller entry building is home to the recreation center’s lobby, reception area, men’s and women’s restrooms, and three multi-purpose rooms for small-group activities. The larger rear building houses the multipurpose gymnasium with bleachers, the men’s and women’s locker rooms and the building’s mechanical and electrical rooms. The new recreation center has been hailed as a place that promotes community wellness and community recreation.
The decision to build the recreation center using pre-engineered metal buildings was influenced by several determinants. For starters, the aesthetic properties of the metal panels created a strong horizontal plane which formed a striking contrast with the building’s vertical window elements. The variety of different styles and colors available in the metal panels allowed for numerous design possibilities. Additionally, the structure of the pre-engineered buildings created wide open spaces, free from columns, which is ideal for recreational facilities. Another benefit was the low cost of construction. The 29,000 square foot building’s $6.4 million cost was economical for this type of modern athletic facility. Ease of material maintenance was another factor in choosing to build with metal. Because the metal panels are finished with a fluoropolymer coating, they are practically impervious to air pollution, acid rain and airborne dirt. Lastly, pre-engineered metal buildings have a quicker turnaround time than other construction materials which equates to a shorter construction time and thus a drastic reduction in building costs.
The South Kingstown Recreation Center was completed in under 14 months and opened in June 2017. The town anticipates the new building will be an essential resource of the community for many years to come.