St. Catharines, Ontario

The Zone Fitness Centre

On the Brock University campus, The Zone is the epicenter of the school’s impressive fitness culture. In 2017, the fitness centre regularly reached its max capacity, so the Brock University Student Union decided it was time to act on the need to expand and renovate the space. Completed late in 2020, the result is an exciting $7.39 million, 16,250 sf transformation, home to both elite training and everyday fitness programs for the University’s community.

It was clear from the start, this project would have unique challenges. It is located within an enclosed courtyard and there is an active tunnel systems running underneath. We recommended a construction management approach, as opposed to a traditional design bid build. This is an integrated methodology that gave the team more flexibility. With Aquicon Construction, we began to chart an innovative construction path. We removed an existing link between courtyard buildings, while creating a new roadway into the courtyard. This allowed us to move materials in and out, before rebuilding the link to complete the project. Yet, this would not be the only challenge. Halfway through construction, the team had to adjust, facing the new realities brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. We quickly adapted, making the best use of virtual tools and complying with screening practices developed and managed by Aquicon.

The students’ vision for their expanded fitness centre has now come to fruition. The courtyard experience is transformed, with the heavy awning and closed off space replaced with one that is light and transparent. The double height interior has a series of active mezzanines that feature the campus colours and mascot. The space is programmed with a mix of wide-open areas for exercise equipment, a variety of turf for training and group classes like yoga and spin.

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