US Air Force Academy Cadet Gymnasium Modernization

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Rich in Air Force Academy tradition, this modern gymnasium is unique in meeting the physical fitness requirements of the cadets while providing state-of-the-art athletic facilities.


US Air Force Academy

Project Size

440,000 sf

Professional Services

Interior Design
Landscape Architecture
Lighting Design

RNL was selected to provide design services for an ID/IQ contract at the US Air Force Academy. As part of this contract, we conducted a comprehensive master plan for the Cadet Gym addressing changes in athletic education and program; building and system issues and deficiencies; historic preservation requirements; USAFA Design Standards; LEED requirements and current building codes. The master plan resulted in seven recommended phases of construction that would allow the Cadet Gym to remain in use during the modernization. RNL subsequently completed the design work for six of the seven phases which are now in various phases of construction.

The project is designed to LEED-Gold standards. Strategies include optimizing energy performance through a significant upgrade in mechanical equipment, and energy efficient light fixtures and controls. The mechanical equipment upgrades also provide a much needed increase in indoor air quality and thermal comfort. Green materials were used throughout and include finishes with high recycled content and low VOC content. The result reduces energy consumption by 22% and indoor water use by approximately 27%, and enhances the gym experience for the cadets.

The design also includes the replacement of the south curtain wall in order to bring it up to Attack Force Protection compliance. The team performed extensive research into the original design. A custom glazing system was designed in conjunction with off-the-shelf manufacturer’s products. Special care was used to tie the curtain wall to the existing structure without compromising fire rating of the structure.