Part of a master plan for an athletic corridor on the east side of Creighton University’s campus in Omaha, Nebraska, the new 43,000-square-foot Championship Center is located near stadiums and courts where the big games are played.
CU’s nationally-ranked NCAA Division I men’s basketball team will now practice in the same facility where other student athletes train.
Training facilities and athletics offices used to be located in the Vinardi Center, which is about 100 years old and not up to current athletics standards, says Steve Brace, CU’s assistant athletic director of internal operations. For example, the windowless, basement weight room, with its bulky pillars, didn’t make a very good impression on potential recruits.
“We needed a more modern facility to not only raise the profile of our men’s basketball program, but also meet the needs of all our student-athletes on a greater level,” says Brace.
The new facility houses everything the men’s basketball team needs. Along with two practice courts, it has a team lounge with a gaming area, a refreshment bar and a theater.
The new 5,000-square-foot weight room is sunlit and open to all students. The training suite also has a hydrotherapy room with a 7-foot- by-14-foot cold pool, a 7-by-7 warm pool and an 8-by-12 aquatic therapy pool. There is an academic services suite with individual and group study rooms on the second floor.
“It needed to be a facility that student-athletes wanted to spend time in,” says architect Greg Garlock, a sports designer for the DLR Group. “Between meetings, practice and time in the training room, weight room and academic center, student-athletes are expected to spend a great deal of their day in such a facility.”
The building’s design features CU’s Bluejay branding to inspire coaches, trainers, athletes and recruits. Its red-brick exterior and arches reflect campus design standards and match with athletic facilities on the east side of campus.
COMPLETED: May 2014
COST: $11 million
PROJECT TEAM: The DLR Group (Chicago), architect; Kiewit Building Group (Austin), contractor.