Thomas College Sports Center
Thomas College, Waterville, Maine

Thomas College Athletic Center

Part of Thomas College’s ongoing campus master plan features an athletic complex to be constructed on the south campus. The first phase of this multi-phase facility includes a sports center, followed by a gymnasium and ultimately a field house. In 2018, the College's Board of Trustees committed to proceed with the project. 

The Athletic Department had previously developed a design program and vision for this first phase as a support facility for athletics and sports programs. The sports center would house coaches’ offices, a strength and conditioning center, training room and team rooms for both Thomas teams as well as visiting teams. 

In August 2018, Thomas College solicited qualifications for design services for the first phase. The invited firms were requested to submit the building's conceptual design, demonstrating their vision and selection of materials. The College’s selection committee evaluated a number of innovative submissions from highly qualified firms. SMRT from Portland, ME was unanimously chosen. 

SMRT’s vision was not only to provide offices/locker rooms, but their team was enthusiastic to develop a branding of Thomas Athletics. SMRT's design concept was a two-story facility built into a berm with team rooms on the ground level where players take to the game field via a tunnel flanked by a sculpture of the team's Terrier mascot.

In the following months, SMRT worked with the College to finalize an expanded design program that incorporated the College's newly launched Esports varsity program. SMRT skillfully led the building committee through numerous iterations of the building’s exterior design before reaching the signature presence the College was envisioning.

The exterior design features sloping rooflines with extensive glass facing the athletic fields, in combination with a glass atrium and clerestory lobby windows. A blend of brick, metal and composite panels compliment the architecture of recently constructed campus buildings. Team rooms and the training room occupy the lower level, Esports, offices and strength/conditioning areas occupy the upper level. The common spaces and lobby extend the length of the building, affording expansive views of the athletic fields with the space extending to an outdoor patio. The lobby features the prominent Dick and Betty Jane Meader Athletics Hall of Fame.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, construction was postponed until 2021. The construction phase although well managed, was challenged by COVID-19 protocols still in place, industry wide labor shortages and supply chain delays. Thomas College occupied the long-awaited sports center in January 2023.

CC of Maine was retained once again by Thomas College, to provide preconstruction services that included feasibility studies, budgeting and developing/issuing RFPs for design and construction management services. CC of Maine also coordinated permitting and supporting the efforts of the design team and construction manager in developing the project within the parameters of the College’s budget.

Renderings by SMRT