On June 9, 2022, AIA Minneapolis announced four Merit Awards, including JLG Architects’ renovation of White Bear Lake Sports Center in White Bear Lake, MN. The AIA Minneapolis Merit Award program recognizes projects designed by AIA Minneapolis architects that tell a story of excellence beyond design; emphasize public interest design; and embrace the varied forces that shape a building.
White Bear Lake Sports Center (WBLSC) has survived 50 years of relocation, reassembling, and re-purposing from its former role as a tennis club to its current role serving the hockey and ice-skating programs. On the verge of demolition, WBLSC worked with JLG to lead an extensive vulnerability analysis and sustainable renovation that restored the infrastructure, refrigeration, and ongoing envelope issues. In choosing renovation ($4.5 million) versus new construction, WBLSC is estimated to have saved nearly $6-million-dollars while reducing embodied carbon through the re-use of 75% of the existing building components. JLG’s award-winning design supported critical user updates that improved occupant air quality and interior thermal comfort through sustainable integration and highly efficient systems that enhanced well-being and reduced annual operational costs.
The overhauled environment has been hailed as a healthier and more resilient destination that invites the community to a vibrant hub of activity – using sustainable, economical, and environmentally responsible design to reconnect the community and empower healthy lifestyles. Today, WBLSC is home to an expanded hockey program with dryland training activities and a thriving ice-skating program – with flexibility built-in to support future expansion. Since the completion of the project, the surrounding community is feeling the impact – experiencing a healthier economy and progressive community development, with many improvements happening adjacent to the WBLSC.
WBLSC Director, Bruce Bates, expressed that the community has loved seeing the transformation of the facility. “The quality of the ice is amazing,” said Bates. “We absolutely hit a home run on the thermal design…” – success Bates attributes to “how tight the building is,” and the “improved envelope.” Players and fans have also enjoyed the more accessible restrooms, locker rooms, LEDs, and overall natural light quality. Influenced by the success of their sustainable renovation, Bates noted that the building is now “planning to get a solar panel array installed later this summer,” further improving the building’s performance and reduction in energy consumption.
AIA Minneapolis Merit Award
Unique in its approach to assembling a jury, the AIA Minneapolis Merit Award encompasses the views of business professionals, real estate developers, community advocates, academic leaders, as well as architects. The 2022 Merit Award jury included: Trevor Bullen, AIA, Dunwoody College of Technology; Paul Bauknight, Minneapolis Parks Foundation; Corey Dykmann, Core Group; Heather Leide, AIA, MAC Airport Development; and Malini Srivastava, AIA, AIA Minneapolis President-elect, University of Minnesota, and DandElab. The jury reviewed how well the entries support the health and well-being of the client or user, address critical social, economic, and or environmental needs of the community, reduce burdens on the environment, address issues of economic development, and utilize innovation.
Three other recipients of the award include, Bentz Thompson Rietow’s Fergus Falls Public Library addition and remodel, LEO A Daly’s Hennepin County Medical Examiner project, and Cuningham’s Mino-Bimaadiziwin Apartments.
The Merit Awards virtual presentation to recipients will occur during the AIA Minneapolis Chapter Lunch Program on July 21, 2022. Learn more about the awards on the AIA Minneapolis website. AIA Minneapolis is the largest chapter in Minnesota with more than 1,600 members. Centered in Minneapolis, the chapter territory includes the southwestern portion of the state. As a large chapter, AIA Minneapolis participates with other large AIA chapters nationwide to focus attention on significant issues facing AIA members. The chapter provides leadership, networking, and outreach opportunities for its members.