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Design unveiled for Fairfield University arena

Fairfield University in Connecticut has unveiled the designs for a new multi-purpose on-campus arena called the Convocation Center.

Designed by Centerbrook Architects & Planners the 3,500-seat facility will serve as the home for the Fairfield basketball and volleyball teams, as well as host concerts, commencements, and other larger on-campus events.

The lower bowl is designed to seat approximately 2,400. A second deck will hold around 1,100, highlighted by The Stag Club, which offers premium seating and hospitality for 150. The design provides unobstructed views from the concourse on both levels. Its 85,000ft2 also houses locker rooms, a film room, lounge, training rooms, staff offices, and numerous support spaces.

Centerbrook principal Jim Childress said:

We’re really excited about helping make attending events here a wonderful experience. The two tiers of close-in seating bring everyone together for games, events, and convocation. The building will immerse visitors in the energy and vitality of the university.

Designed to be modern yet contextual, the estimated $45 million Convocation Center will provide a dramatic arrival with a transparent front entrance that reveals the building’s interior.

Natural light enters from three sides of the arena through ample glass that complements the brick façade, which blends with the campus palate. The curved roof is a nod to the current Alumni Hall and many mid-century arenas.

The Convocation Center will replace the 2,500-seat Alumni Hall, which has played host to Fairfield athletics and campus events since 1959. Following its demolition, construction of the new facility is projected to commence in the spring of 2020 and span 18-24 months.

This is Centerbrook’s first commission for Fairfield since completing the Bellarmine Gallery of the Fairfield University Art Museum in 2010. The Convocation Center is one of four active projects the firm has in Fairfield County, Connecticut. The others include the expansion of a new upper school for Greenwich Country Day School, the new Discovery Center for Mill River Park Collaborative in Stamford, and an expansion and renovation of The Basilica of St. John the Evangelist rectory, also in Stamford.