Whatever the outcome of the NCAA hearings taking place in Nashville today and tomorrow regarding academic fraud at UNC-Chapel Hill, one fact is certain:
The UNC basketball coaches will return to a state-of-the-art locker room.
That’s because of the design work by HOK Kansas City, completed a little more than a year ago. Immediately after the national championship game between UNC and Villanova, the architects and contractors got to work. And they had less than six months to make it happen.
“As soon as it was over, they abandoned the locker room and that’s when construction began,” says Tom Waggoner, senior vice president, HOK Kansas City. “We’d been designing it for six months and that’s when we demolished the former locker room.”
They added square footage for a team lounge, a mini theater for watching film, a training table, a small premium lounge for catered food, a locker area, a shower, sink and toilet area, a media room and an area for a hot tub and a cold tub for rehab. Then there’s the coaches’ locker room, with a meeting room, shower toilet and sink. LATICRETE® was responsible for tile installation.
Part of the design tips its hat to UNC’s history and brand. “There are team colors and symbolism – the argyle patter on the team uniforms – we used some of those on the ceiling and wall,” he says. “The university brought in a graphic design firm to finish it off with big wall graphics and historical photos to play up the history of Nike’s Michael Jordan shoes.”
The new locker room is not just for coaches and players. It plays a significant role in recruiting new players as well. “We wanted to create a top-tier facility for day-to-day use, and for recruiting, with the history and the trophies,” he says. “We wanted recruits to say: ‘I can see myself being here,’ and parents saying that about their sons too.”
It’s the kind of influence that powerful design can have on a human being – no matter the outcome of the NCAA hearings taking place in Nashville.
And right now, Roy Williams and his coaching staff need all the help they can get.