San Diego City College Harry West Gymnasium

Client: San Diego Community College District
Services Provided: Programming, Design, Construction Documents, Construction Administration
Project Location: San Diego, CA
Project Size: 45,000 sf
Capacity: 2,000 spectators
Completion Date: August 2005
Sustainability: Sustainable Design Features Included
Program: Competition Gymnasium, Showers and Locker Rooms, Running Track Mezzanine, Bleacher Seating

The Harry West Gym is the hub of exercise science and athletics for the San Diego City College campus. The complex serves as an exciting place to encourage student life and promote interscholastic activities. The project is designed to accommodate a wide variety of programmatic activities with a focus on health and fitness including intercollegiate athletics, intramural groups, sports medicine and health education. The large 3 court gym was planned flexibly to host additional events such as commencement exercises, special exhibitions, lectures and concerts.

The main challenge with this project was that it is located on a steep hillside. This challenge was turned into a benefit by designing the main entrance of the complex at street level. Students enter directly into the athletic hall of champions highlighting the storied history of SDCC’s athletics program. Then pass onto a concourse which allows visitors to walk down onto the gymnasium bleachers from above thereby protecting the gym floor from over-use. Students can also circulate around the upper level to find athletic offices, a concessions stand and aerobics/dance room and a fitness lab. From the lower court floor level, access is provided to shower and locker areas, team rooms and an athletic training room/sports medicine area. Retractable bleachers support 2,000 screaming fans cheering on their beloved Knights.