A Space Where Community Comes Together

Clark County Family YMCA

YMCA

Overview

The Clark County Family YMCA is a hub where recreation, social services, and general fitness come together in a bright, open setting. As a community pillar in east and north Clark County, the center was designed with access and flexibility in mind to welcome and enhance the experience of all members and guests.

Key Stats

Square Footage

60,180

Completion

2014

Location

Vancouver, WA

Context

The original Clark County Family YMCA was completed in 2000 to provide a family-oriented community center with a variety of recreational and social opportunities. In 2012, construction began on Phase II to fulfill the promise made to YMCA’s membership and to add programs and spaces to better serve the community.

YMCA_Lobby
YMCA_Gym
YMCA_Equip
YMCA_Pool

Design

A Multi-phased Approach 

Due to the scope and immediate impact to users, this project was completed in multiple phases to ensure members could use the facility throughout the construction process. The initial program included a pool, gymnasium, rock wall, miscellaneous fitness areas, child watch area and support spaces. In the project’s second phase, a lap pool, locker rooms, expanded lobby, renovated fitness rooms, an elevated running track, and the pool enclosure were added. 

The center’s most prominent feature has an operable roof over the pool to provide an indoor/outdoor motif depending on the weather. In the pool’s shallow end, floor fountains spring up while a large, umbrella-shaped fountain rains water down. 

To accommodate a range of classes, the pool is mostly three to four feet deep. In addition, it has a therapy bench and water jet that were designed in conjunction with PeaceHealth Southwest Washington Medical Center’s needs. In the deep end, optional swim jets provide a current for exercise sessions. 

An existing outdoor covered play area was enclosed to create an additional gymnasium/multi-purpose room, an informal meeting area, a small kitchenette, and storage space. The new gymnasium can easily be divided to accommodate services, gatherings, and events with exterior entrances for off-hours use. 

The project’s final phase included the addition of a 6-lane lap pool (4’-6” to 9’ deep), as well as new locker rooms with saunas, an expanded lobby and new entrance, and renovated fitness rooms. 

The gym received new wood flooring and equipment, plus an elevated walking track that takes advantage of the high ceiling and allows transparency between various fitness areas. The new pool area includes an all-glass and aluminum system with retractable roof feature that aligns with the existing system installed in 2000. The new entry canopy was reconfigured to work with the new entry/lobby design and was constructed using materials from the original glass entry canopy.

YMCA Block End

Sustainability

To make sustainability a key consideration with every project, we organize our efforts into the following categories: Energy Efficiency, Embodied Carbon, Human Health, and Resource Conservation. Each category is associated with goals, processes, and metrics that we use to hold ourselves accountable to our clients, our community, and to current and future generations. In alignment with our sustainability benchmarks for projects, the following features were implemented at the Clark County Family YMCA:

Resource Conservation

  • Main entry canopy was constructed from salvaged steel and glass from the original entry

  • Existing doors and windows were salvaged and reused in the new design

Human Health

  • In support of the YMCA’s core function as a community connection point, the building utilizes glass walls and partitions to promote visual and physical transparency across spaces 

  • Design leverages the mental and emotional benefits of biophilic design, flooding the space with natural light and views of the surrounding trees

  • The entire YMCA center is devoted to community health: group exercise, an indoor track, low impact, cardiovascular and fitness spaces provide community access to physical fitness amenities

Embodied Carbon 

  • Project repurposed one half of the existing building’s square footage 

  • Replaced older program spaces with newer ones based on changing demographics and community needs, eliminating new square footage to the site and all the embodied carbon that would create

Operational Energy

  • The original pool and new pool addition were built from a glass and steel structure and designed to have the roof retract to the outside environment 

  • Natural light provided by the glass and steel structure reduces the demand for electric lighting

  • Roof can be opened for natural ventilation on hot days

To read about sustainability at LSW and review our goals, benchmarks, and processes, download our Sustainability Action Plan here.