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LSU Football unveils operations complex

Louisiana State University (LSU) Football has opened its newly renovated and expanded operations centre, designed in collaboration with HNTB and RHH Architects.

Serving as prime architect on the project that entailed 56,000ft2 of renovations and an additional 22,000ft2 of new space, HNTB focused on producing a facility that would not only maximise opportunities to improve the health and wellness of current players, but also enhance the school’s recruiting message by helping to tell the story of LSU Football and the unique traditions that make the programme special.

The signature feature of the project is a new state-of-the-art locker room that emphasises player comfort and recovery, along with an integrated player’s lounge, helping to redefine how a football programme thinks about these spaces.

Each athlete is provided with a highly functional multi-use locker pod that not only creates a first-class experience for players, but also integrates sports science so athletes can rest, refuel and recover in their individual space.

Additionally, the negative air pressure system integrated into each upper and lower storage compartment allows for a cleaner and more comfortable space to enjoy during recovery periods.

Chase Pitner, HNTB’s lead project designer, said:

From the start of this project, we were challenged to come up with a design that would help LSU gain a distinct advantage related to the health and performance of their players, while also finding unique and distinctive ways of expressing what it means for players and coaches to be a part of this storied football program.

Other features of the locker room pods include:

  • Personal charging stations
  • Personal lockable storage
  • Helmet storage with charging capabilities for concussion sensors inside the helmet
  • Personal lighting components
  • Custom medical grade upholstery
  • iPad arm
  • Integral pillow

Emmett David, LSU senior associate athletics director for facilities & project development, said:

Working in a collaborative, seamless and open effort with HNTB, all of our design consultants, our contractors and sub-contractors, fabricators and multiple crafts we have excelled in meeting my goals.

This project has made a change in the industry that will now call for a 360-degree look at an athlete’s life, both short-term and long-term. This is a commitment to total long-term health and a lifelong commitment to the wellbeing of our athletes.

The operations centre, which now encompasses a total of 115,000ft2, also includes a new main lobby and LSU Hall of Fame area that highlights current and former players success on and off the field, a virtual walk-through room that is available for football players to use as a part of their daily training, as well as a dedicated dining facility and a renovated sports medicine area with new plunge pools that are available to all LSU student athletes.

Gerardo Prado, HNTB sports practice leader and vice president, added:

In every way, this project demonstrates the philosophy of our sports practice. By always listening to the client first and treating each project as unique, we are able to produce innovative thinking and creative designs that includes the latest trends and practices in the industry. This helps serve our goal of providing solutions to the biggest challenges faced by college athletic programs across the country.

The opening at LSU represents HNTB’s latest innovative design of sports performance centres for major college football programmes.

The firm is currently working with the University of Illinois on the design of their new football performance centre as well as the renovation of Schembechler Hall at the University of Michigan. Both of those projects are scheduled to open in fall 2019.

Previously, HNTB served as architect-of-record for the Carson Student-Athlete Center at Arizona State University as well as a new 99,000ft2 performance centre for the University of Kentucky Football programme.