The McNeese State University Health and Human Performance (H&HP) Education Complex consists of a new 138,000-ft2 multistory arena for the university’s athletics and health and human performance programs. General seating is 4000 seats in the main arena and 600 seats for the volleyball court. The building includes 6 classrooms, 12 faculty offices, and a sports training center that serves as a hands-on learning laboratory for exercise physiology students.
Just two years after the building was completed, Hurricane Laura made landfall in Southwest Louisiana and thoroughly devastated McNeese State University. The Category 4 storm’s wind gusts, torrential rains, and tornadoes roared through Lake Charles. The H&HP building had been designed to withstand 140-mph winds, but Laura had sustained winds of 160 mph with gusts up to 180 mph. All buildings throughout the Lake Charles area were impacted. Despite the damage sustained during the storm, the precast concrete panels performed perfectly.
Read more about this project in the Summer 2021 issue of Ascent.
The project’s participants developed a precast concrete design concept that considered the building form, exterior materials, functionality, and aesthetics. The system gave the benefits of resiliency, durability, cost efficiency, and quality control versus a wall system built on-site.