In 2012, the city acquired St. Theresa of Caluctta Church and Grade School intending to transform the 1960s building into their new Community Center. Ferguson hired JEMA to plan, program, and design the first dedicated Community Center in the city’s 120-year history.
JEMA met with focus groups and a community committee to determine a program that best meets the city’s gathering and fitness needs. A key city goal was for the building to employ sustainable design practices.
The resulting design is a family-based facility that meets the needs of every generation and provides a much needed gathering and fitness destination for the entire community.
The new Community Center is designed around a new two-story entry volume that serves as the building’s “town hall.” The facility offers multiple, large multi-purpose rooms for gatherings and parties as well as wellness activities such as yoga and Pilates. There is a Youth and Teen Center that includes traditional and digital gaming. The center also includes a digital café, dedicated areas for seniors and childcare, and the city’s park and recreation offices.
For the Fitness Center, JEMA realized that the existing floor to ceiling height was inadequate. A new, high bay structure with floor-to-ceiling glazing was created to enhance the fitness room which contains state-of-the-art cardio and strength equipment. By choosing to renovate and transform an existing structure, the design is inherently "green." Sustainable design features include high-performance glazing, energy-efficient HVAC systems, the use of “sola-tubes” (high performance skylights), and native landscaping.