University of Arkansas Announces Populous Master Plan
October 24, 2011
The University of Arkansas recently announced an athletic facilities master plan, developed by Populous and Arkansas-based Modus Studio, that is expected to affect each of the school’s 19 athletic programs. The plan, estimated at $320 million, will serve as an adaptable blueprint for the future of Arkansas Athletics.
The Arkansas Athletic Facility Master Plan encompassed every aspect of the master plan process, including programming, facility assessments, conceptual designs and architectural renderings. It also measured the feasibility of converting Bud Walton Arena from its current state as a multi-use event center into a basketball-only facility. Populous was able to assess the overall condition of each athletic facility, which allowed the university to plan out necessary upgrades and improvements to maintain the buildings in working order.
“These master plan exercises are important for athletic departments to assess where they stand at a given point in time with respect to their peers,” said Ryan Sickman, Populous Associate Principal. “We feel this is an achievable plan of improvements that collectively represents the wish lists of every single sport fielded by the Razorback Athletic Department. The majority of these improvements are centered on providing the student-athletes at the University of Arkansas with facilities that will make their time in Fayetteville more efficient, more productive and will allow them to succeed on the field and in the classroom.”
While the University currently considers the master plan to be a long-term vision, Populous will soon begin improvements on the school’s football facilities. Groundbreaking on an 80,000 square-foot football operations center will take place November 4.
“We have an obligation to plan for the future and the Athletic Facilities Master Plan enables us to move forward in the best interests of meeting the needs of our student-athletes, coaches, donors and fans,” Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff long said. “The plan is an ambitious wish list to address facility needs for all 19 of our sports over the next five, 15 and 30 years. It is the next step to build our program and maintain competitiveness in the Southeastern Conference and nationally.”
Specific details for the other Razorback Athletic programs are tentative, but the master plan does include renovations for Baum Stadium (baseball), Bud Walton Arena (basketball), the Billingsley Center (tennis), the Randal Tyson Center (indoor track and field), John McDonnell Field (outdoor track and field), Bogle Park (softball) and the Fred and Mary Smith Center (golf). In addition, new facilities are outlined in the plan including a basketball practice facility, an academic and dining facility and an outdoor swimming training pool.
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