Located at the intersection of Lyon Street and Bostwick Avenue, the Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse was originally constructed in the mid 1970’s and has received a number of minor upgrades over the past 50 years. Through a series of meetings and workshops with building users a number of goals were established for this renovation; more instructional space is vital to the future success of this building, a greater flexibility in the existing spaces would allow for better building utilization and, perhaps most importantly, a welcoming atmosphere for both the students and the community is a must.
The overarching strategy for this renovation centers on gaining efficiencies out of the existing underutilized locker room and circulation space. The proposed plan separates instructional space from the locker rooms, freeing area on the arena level for two new large instructional spaces. These spaces create a great flexibility, functioning as additional support space during events as well as multipurpose space for everyday use. Placing these public spaces on the arena level also opens up to potential to punch windows in the currently blank concrete façade. Adjacent to the new instructional spaces is the gathering space. Conceived of as a “living room” or open study space, this mix of circulation and lounge area will become the social heart of the building and doubles as the pre-function space for large events.
The general purpose locker rooms are supplemented by smaller corridor lockers located in the expanded health club space which caters to the more transient user. The locker rooms for staff and faculty have grown significantly to accommodate the added function of visiting team locker room with a movable partition dividing the halves. These shifts will allow the building to better serve current pedagogy and remain flexible to future changes while providing a welcoming atmosphere for all that use it.