U. names Robert A.M. Stern as fitness center architect

University officials Friday named Robert A.M. Stern Architects as the designer of the Jonathan Nelson Fitness Center, which is slated to open in 2010.

“Robert A.M. Stern Architects is one of the great architecture firms in the country, and I am delighted they will be working on this important and exciting project,” said Jonathon Nelson ’77 P’07 P’09, the lead donor for the project, in a University statement.

Robert A.M. Stern Architects – named for founder and senior partner Robert Stern, dean of the Yale University School of Architecture – has worked on many college campuses across the country, including those of Yale, Dartmouth College and the University of Michigan. Gary Brewer, an associate partner who will assist Stern on the project, has designed buildings for the Harvard Business School and the University of Virginia.

The architecture firm of Sharples, Holden and Pasquarelli originally worked on plans for the fitness center, but the work was later transferred to Robert A.M. Stern Architects.

The fitness center will feature a gymnasium, five studios for fitness and dance and 11,900 square feet for cardiovascular and weight-training, according to the press release. The new facility was originally commissioned in 2004, and President Ruth Simmons announced plans last May to “revise the program scope” for the fitness center, increasing its size and adding amenities to the $30 million facility. The University also plans to raise $15 million in additional funds to support the cost of running the building.

“The new spaces provided by the Nelson Fitness Center will transform the extracurricular experiences of Brown students by giving them increased opportunities to meet, learn from each other and build a shared sense of community,” said Russell Carey ’91 MA’06, interim vice president for campus life and student services, in the statement.