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Centennial College building wins architecture award

picture of a centennial college student running on the indoor track in the athletic and wellness centre at progress campus

Centennial College’s Athletic and Wellness Centre at Progress Campus has earned a Governor-General’s Medal in Architecture for 2014, one of 12 awards given out across the country to honour excellence in Canadian architecture each year.

The Athletic and Wellness Centre (AWC) was proposed and undertaken by the Centennial College Student Association Inc. as a replacement for the college’s outdated DEL Gym. The expanded state-of-the-art recreation facility features a new 18,000-sq-ft gymnasium, squash courts, a climbing wall, 80-metre indoor running track, wellness treatment centre, cardio-fitness area and two aerobic studios.

The design work was awarded to Kongats Architects, the same Toronto firm that had earlier designed the Student Centre adjoining the Progress Campus gymnasium. The striking two-storey building also won a Governor-General’s Medal in Architecture when it opened in 2002.

“Not too many student associations can claim to have undertaken two buildings that have won Governor-General’s Medals for Architecture – pretty special,” principal Alar Kongrats wrote upon hearing the announcement of this year’s award winners.

Construction costs were wholly financed by the CCSAI. Centennial students held a plebiscite and voted in favour of a special development levy added to their fees to raise funds for the building – much as they had voted a decade earlier to see the Student Centre built. The AWC, which opened in 2011, is operated by the students and generates additional revenue in rental fees. The building was featured in the 2014 remake of the film RoboCop.