Harold Alfond Athletics and Recreation Center, Colby College

"Crisp and welcoming in its design, light filled and open in its presentation, and carefully considered in every detail to make for an exceptional user experience."

David A. Greene, President, Colby College

Hopkins Architects were selected to design an Athletic Center for Colby College following a competitive proposal process. Colby is one of the US's premier liberal arts colleges. Its campus includes a formal 1930s central heart, surrounded by less formally placed buildings, and large expanses of open green and wooded areas facing the City of Waterville and the Kennebec River Valley.

Colby's previous athletic facilities, constructed between 1948 and 1993, were very popular on the campus, with a third of the student body participating in sports at Varsity level, as well as in some form of wellness or recreational activity. The Harold Alfond Athletics and Recreation Center replaces and right sizes the previous facilities to provide an architectural solution which reinforces a strong sense of community within the college. The project is part of a larger college effort to improve the competitiveness of intercollegiate athletics, promote and encourage a healthy campus and deepen its connection to the local community and state through athletics and recreation. The facility sits on land formerly occupied by playing fields at the campus' western gateway.

The college is one of the leading sustainable environments in the country, and is one of only four to achieve carbon neutrality. As such, sustainability features heavily in the project and the building is expected to achieve LEED Gold certification.

Hopkins Architects worked with Sasaki Associates as Executive Architect, Arup as Engineers, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates as Landscape Architect, Faithful+Gould cost consultants and Consigli as Construction Manager on this project.


  • Location Waterville, Maine, USA
  • Size 35,000m²
  • Client Colby College
  • Year 2020

Selected Awards

  • Civic Trust Award
  • Architizer A+ Award: Gyms & Recreation Centers Category, Jury Winner
  • Athletic Business: Facility of Merit
  • WAN Award: Leisure Category (Silver)
  • ENR New England: Best Sports/Entertainment Project
  • ENR New England: Excellence in Sustainability Award of Merit
  • ENR New England: Excellence in Safety Award of Merit