Chris Pietsch of the Register-Guard went around the University of Oregon's Autzen Stadium complex photographing their new football facilities and the results are most impressive.
The glass citadel you see above is the new Football Operations Center, which comes with a price tag of $68 million. It is part of a series of construction projects around Autzen Stadium that will also include improvements to the Moshofsky and Casanova Centers.
What is Oregon getting for their – well, Nike co-founder and Oregon alum Phil Knight’s – money? A 25,000-square-foot weight room, maple lockers for each player that include iPod charging docks, a team room with 55-inch flat screen televisions and leather easy chairs for every athlete and a double-decker sky bridge connecting it all. (A Reddit user claiming to be working on the construction cited the cost of each locker at $30,000.)
In addition to that, there are two movie theaters and nine separate classrooms for the coaches to use. There's also a three-feet thick basalt wall (pictured above) that reaches twelve feet in height at its end. There's also a rendering of Puddles, the Ducks' mascot, that has subtle images of Phil and Penny Knight reflected in its pupils.
All of the additions are part of Knight’s plan to turn Oregon into one a college football powerhouse. With four consecutive BCS bowl appearances, heavy NCAA sanctions avoided and another top-five ranking likely when the preseason polls come out, he’s getting his money’s worth.
Unrelated to football bust still worth noting: the garbage can lids at the Oregon lacrosse and soccer fields say “Trash – Garbage – Beavers,” a jab at the Ducks’ instate rivals from Corvallis.
Architecture blogger Brian Libby was just one person to question some of the new designs when talking to Diane Dietz of the Register-Guard:
“The Football Operations Center can be beautiful and very environmentally impressive,” Libby said. “I hope it won’t seem like a castle that’s telling its neighbors across the street or down the street to keep their distance.”
“It does feel like it’s a little elitist,” said Will Dixon, architect and president of the American Institute of Architects of Southwestern Oregon. “It’s like if you are in the club, then you can get to the nice rooms up there.”
Check out Pietsch’s full gallery for a look at the ongoing construction and dizzying scale of the project.