University President Dr. Jim Clements says Clemson’s new football operations complex is “145,000 square feet of the best of everything.”
Clemson, S.C. – Clemson University officially opened its new $55 million football operations center on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017 – fittingly coinciding with National Signing Day. GMC served as the architect of record and designed the facility in partnership with HOK. Home to the 2016 College Football Playoff National Champions, the 145,000-square-foot complex is the largest and most programmatically inclusive football-specific training facility in the nation.
“This was truly my dream,” Head Football Coach Dabo Swinney said at the ribbon cutting ceremony. “I wanted to move the best team in college football into the best building in college football, and that’s exactly how it worked out.”
The state-of-the-art building connects the indoor practice facility and outdoor practice fields, consolidating football operations into one complex. Designed to support the day-to-day activities of players, coaches and staff, the new Football Operations Complex further elevates the Tigers’ football program, and promotes the recruitment, training and development of student-athletes.
“This building right here will be the forever home of where the Tigers live, work, study and prepare to go play,” Swinney said.
Functioning as a home away from home for many of the athletes, the complex offers amenities that allow the student-athletes to train, study and unwind in one place. Features include 1.5 acres of outdoor leisure and entertainment space, state-of-the-art hydrotherapy, training, weight equipment and technology, a steam room and recovery room and a Gatorade fuel bar.
The centralized player concourse allows coaches and athletes to move efficiently through the building to maximize valuable training and practice time. A slide connects the concourse to the lobby, further emphasizing Coach Swinney’s focus on fun to the forefront in the design. The complex also features miniature golf, bowling, a movie theater, gaming lounge and basketball, volleyball and bocce ball courts, giving players an opportunity for some friendly competition.
Compelling graphics and displays throughout the facility celebrate the team’s storied history and reflect the Clemson spirit, including a scale replica of Memorial Stadium’s famous Hill and Howard’s Rock.
Of course the home of the national champions would not be complete without a prominent spot to display the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship trophy, which sits proudly in the main atrium.
University President Dr. Jim Clements commended the new facility at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, citing the positive impact the building has already had and will continue to have for years to come. “This facility will allow us to continue to recruit the top players in the country and will give our players and coaches a true home and all the tools they need to continue to be champions, on the field and in life.”