Page 16 - College Planning & Management, November 2017
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give all student-athletes access to state-of-the-art strength and conditioning, sports medicine and a weight room that serves the football team in addition to women’s field hockey, softball and tennis. Like Notre Dame’s Crossroads Project, Miami University’s APC is incorporated into the school’s football stadium, bringing year-round activity to the Oxford, OH-based facility.
University of Wisconsin-Madison’s (UW) renovation of its Southeast Recreational Facility (SERF) provides an example of a student life and recreation building expanding its usage to also accommodate college athletics and training. When completed in 2020, the SERF is expected to serve as a campus hub, with fitness facilities for all UW students, wellness- focused amenities like a dedicated personal training suite and a new competition Aquatic Center that will become the new home of the Badgers swimming and diving teams.
How to Grow Consensus, Create Synergies
As schools like Notre Dame and Wisconsin have shown, op- portunities for collaboration between administrators and athlet- ics can elevate collective campus facility needs to create projects that serve a broader set of students. But how does a school move toward creating one of these hybrid, multipurpose facilities?
The process can be challenging. A broad set of users must be engaged early to build consensus and better understand synergies and challenges. Campus architects and planners are often best equipped to lead the charge, orchestrating con- versations with key decision makers and bridging potential silos well in advance of the project moving forward. Often, too, it takes bringing in early an outside design and consult- ing team that has experience on these types of projects and can help all stakeholders comprehend and imagine the full scope of the project. Other factors to consider include:
• Funding. Many of the challenges driving this change are
related to funding and the historical differences in funding mechanisms for projects — particularly between athletic and academic facilities. Projects that might be easy to fundraise for might not be the projects the campus most needs. The multipurpose facility project provides the great- est opportunity to reconcile this, creating a greater set of resources to draw from.
• Programmatic considerations. There are real program- matic challenges in bringing together diverse groups on campus. Each entity has very separate and specific needs. For example, basketball and football coaches will be con- cerned with the player path of travel in a training facility and want the adjacencies of the space to support the way they run their teams. An academic administrator will have much different concerns about adjacencies, wanting to minimize distractions and ensure the space is designed to be conducive to learning.
• Security. Security and privacy present another challenge. For example, if a football stadium interfaces with academic and recreation spaces, designers must think strategically about how to create multiple entry points and wayfinding that supports both event- and non-event-day activities. Flexible rings of security should be incorporated to keep

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