Heery Sports presents at 2017 SCUP Southern Regional Conference: Repurposing an MLB Stadium Into an Iconic Campus Facility

The Society for College and University Planning’s (SCUP) Annual Southern Regional Conference brings individuals representing higher education institutions and private sector organizations to exchange ideas and learn best practices in integrated planning. The two-day conference engages featured speakers and expert panels on a variety of topics related to the changing culture of higher education planning. This year’s conference took place from October 22-24 in New Orleans, LA.

The recent Georgia State Stadium project has drawn much interest due to its unique arrival as a third-generation repurposed stadium. Presenting on the topic, “Repurposing an MLB Stadium Into an Iconic Campus Facility”, Heery sports architects Mike Holleman and Marc Clear along with Georgia State University (GSU) Assistant Vice President for Facilities Management Ramesh Vakamudi, shared details on turning the 20-year-old Turner Field (originally the 1996 Olympic Stadium) into a new collegiate football stadium in just nine months by outlining the project’s exploration stages, master planning and first phase implementation. As the competition continues to attract students and staff, an ultimate adaptive design transformed an existing building into a financially viable new facility, realizing economies-of-scale unavailable through conventional new construction. The topic aimed to stimulate SCUP participants to imagine and utilize a traditional adaptive reuse concept in meeting campus core program needs, while mitigating financial and schedule constraints.

Learning outcomes from this panel presentation included:

  • How to effectively collaborate and create public/private partnerships to meet multiple strategic objectives with an overarching goal of community transformation.
  • Analyzing alternative methods to repurpose/reuse a facility outside of its original programmatic intent.
  • Initiating the planning processes that can respond to fast-pace developments and meet the requirements of local government, board of regents, university foundation, local community, and a private development team.
  • Examples of how Heery and GSU achieved a multi-use campus facility in an urban area, incorporating athletics, academic, and safety programs with space for infrastructure and technology in a single building.

Heery’s design intent of Georgia State Stadium was to create an attractive facility that would not only enhance the fan and athlete experience, but augment a solid return on investment while raising the University’s profile in the areas of sports and student-campus life.