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University of Guelph - W.F. Mitchell Athletics Centre Renewal


Designed by MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects
Rendering by MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects

Originally built in 1958, the W.F. Mitchell Athletics Centre is currently undergoing a renovation and expansion. The construction is set to be completed in two phases. Phase I features an addition and includes a fitness centre, climbing wall, exercise classrooms, a three-court gymnasium, as well as lounge areas for students. Phase II focuses on the renovation of the existing building which includes classrooms, meeting rooms and offices, and high-performance centers. Phase I is targeting LEED Silver Certification.

S + A Services Included:


The project includes a new connection to the campus steam/condensate and chilled water distribution system. Steam is converted to hot water for use in radiant panels for building heat and glycol for heating coils within indoor air handlers. Chilled water is distributed throughout the building for air handler cooling coils and miscellaneous electrical and IT room cooling fan coils. Due to the high outside air requirements, all air handlers include enthalpy recovery wheels and space CO2 sensors to reduce the energy requirements for heating and cooling outside air. All units are variable air volume (VAV) and those serving the large gymnasium and fitness area include low level return air for increased circulation and odour control. Plumbing fixtures are all low flow for potable water conservation and showers include electronic timers to shut off the water supply when not in use.


The design for the electrical systems includes sustainable LED lighting throughout the facility and an innovative low voltage lighting control system with relay based time schedule controls for open areas, the fitness area, gymnasium, and public corridors. Occupancy sensors are installed in private offices, multi-purpose rooms, change rooms, and washrooms. An innovative LED DMX lighting control is utilized in the gymnasium with theatrical lighting controls and cam-lock connections for broadcasting and special events. Daylight harvesting systems are located near the perimeter exterior glazing. Exterior lighting features full cutoff LED site lighting with integral photocell and relay based time schedule controls. A new campus substation, with 13.8kv switchgear with close coupled transformation, has been installed with integral metering. There is also a 600v switchboard distribution with integral metering for facility which back feeds the existing Gryphon Centre Arena and JT Powell building. Efficient dry type transformers and harmonic mitigating transformers are installed for sensitive audiovisual equipment.


The telecommunications cabling infrastructure design consisted of redesigning the existing network to allow for the demolition phase to commence, as portions of the existing building were renovated to suit the new expansion. The expansion's design included Category 6 horizontal cabling infrastructure, with copper and multimode backbone cabling infrastructure. The facility incorporated an IP enabled telephone and audio/visual system that was integrated into the network infrastructure design.


Smith + Andersen provided performance sound, video and communication system design for the athletics centre. The event space features a high output speaker system that enhances fan experience but is also flexible to allow for the space to be reconfigured as required. The video distribution system allows in-house production and digital messaging to be distributed to flat panel displays distributed throughout the facility.


Guelph, Ontario

Gross Floor Area

  • 324,000 sq ft

Completion Year