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A 100,000 sf Community Center
The Center of Clayton
Shared community recreation and school athletic facilities create new synergies
Size: 116,000 sf
Status: Completed 2000
Associate Architect: Barker Rinker Seacat

Christner worked closely with the City of Clayton, the Clayton School District and the community to create an innovative collaboration that resulted in a Center that serves all groups. Our primary design goal was to create a unique intergenerational facility. The Center is in constant use for physical education activities by the high school, organized community and league activities, and family and adult recreation and fitness. Amenities include 4 full-court gymnasiums, a 25-yard competition pool, climbing wall, weight room, indoor jogging track, and community gathering rooms.
We worked with both the City and School District of Clayton to effectively combine their resources. Because of the teamwork, they can provide a more complete selection of programs and services - much more than would be feasible individually.
The leisure pool has a waterslide and lazy river. We designed the pool to be wheelchair accessible to facilitate the OASIS/BJC physical therapy program. A separate 25-yard, 8-lane pool is available for competitive meets and recreational use.
We incorporated a variety of activities that would appeal to many age groups. The climbing wall is designed to be enjoyed by children and experienced climbers alike.
We capitalized on the sense of building community by incorporating a lighted stairway tower at the front entry, rising about 40 feet. It presents a beacon to the community and underscores the strong partnership theme the Center represents.
To organize the campus, we developed a continuous walkway which links the high school with the Center. Inside, the plan of the Center was purposely kept open with as few walls as possible to allow users to experience the vitality and connection of the many activities occurring simultaneously.
We incorporated an elevated running track on the second level, encircling exercise areas and overlooking gyms on two sides. The gyms are used for individual recreational purposes, organized sports leagues, and high school physical education classes.