Creating a Space for Students to Stay Active

Saint Thomas Academy, a private high school located in Mendota Heights, Minn., enlisted Opus AE Group, L.L.C. and Opus Design Build, L.L.C. to design and construct a new student activities center. This was the first time the two organizations partnered on a project.
Two large gymnasiums, including a competition gym with seating for 1,355 spectators and an ancillary gym of the same size reserved for practice and physical education classes are two primary components of this project.

Beneath the gymnasiums, the lower level houses fitness and weight rooms as well as a wrestling room and locker rooms. The remaining space on that level is dedicated to a large team meeting room, health education classrooms and office space for coaches and physical education teachers.

A new two-story structure connects the activities center to the main building. The ground level serves as the main entrance for athletics and other events. With a glass exterior to maximize daylight in the lobby, this level also includes the school store and classroom space.

The second story is reserved for the arts, housing art studios, choir and band rooms and music practice rooms.
The exterior of the facility is consistent with the original building’s design with brick-clad precast wall panels.