The University of Florida retained Davis Architects to expand and renovate its aging 300,000-square-foot Stephen C. O’Connell Center, which serves the basketball, volleyball, swimming, diving, and gymnastics programs, as well as hosts many regional events and concerts.
The first phase of the project began with an 18,000-square-foot expansion to the Gymnastics Practice Facility that included larger and safer training areas, a new lobby and coaching offices, a nutrition bar, and a massage room. The design concept focused on recruiting the best athletes, training them safely, and retaining the best coaching staff.
The second phase recently completed was a transformative project. The east side of the facility was expanded to create a new main entry, connecting two existing entries into one grand lobby that feeds into a renovated seating bowl.
The pre-existing facility had three levels of seating, the lower two being telescoping platforms. The second level platforms were removed and replaced with a permanent concrete grandstand, which created a perimeter concourse with fan amenities, such as concessions, restrooms, merchandise kiosks, and a new Center Court Club. The event level was renovated with new home and visitor locker rooms and a Courtside Club.
Completed in 2016 as a LEED v4 Gold project, the O’Connell Center is a state-of-the-art, multi-purpose venue with Wi-Fi and DAS for all visitors.