Saddlebrook Joint-Use Facility Gym

Saddlebrook Joint-Use Facility

Omaha, Nebraska

111,056 GSF

A collaborative effort between Omaha Public Schools, Omaha Public Libraries, and City of Omaha Parks and Recreation, the Alvine Engineering design team was challenged by the stakeholders’ vision for the Saddlebrook Joint-Use Facility, which embraced the functions of a diverse set of end users and incorporated sustainable design elements. A great savings of scale was achieved by combining three entities under one roof.

The facility is organized around a central “Commons” hub, which serves as the circulatory and symbolic center of the building. Views from all three administration or information desks provide excellent visibility of the Commons activities and approaches.

The elementary school has room for 700 students. Because of the library’s use by both the school and community, it is more than 8,000 square feet larger than the typical elementary school library. The recreation center also offers more than a typical school gymnasium, with an elevated track, aerobics area, billiards, and table tennis available. A central lobby area ensures controlled access to keep public library and recreation center patrons separate from schoolchildren during the day.


  • Electronic access control and intrusion detection at all exterior entrances. Electronic access control at multiple locations throughout the building ensures public library and recreation center patrons are separate from the school children.
  • Green roof provides a variety of environmental, aesthetic, and cost benefits.
  • Lighting is operated at 277 volts cutting the number of circuits required in half.
  • Life safety and optional standby power for all spaces is provided by a single generator feeding through two transfer switches.
  • Bioswale offering storm water retention and plant absorption is electronically-monitored to gauge the quantity of run-off.
  • Connected lighting power for the complex is less than one watt per square foot.
  • High-quality audiovisual systems were provided for the music room (including recording capabilities), the gymnasium, and the Commons.

Photography credit: Kessler Photography

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