Colleges Add "Wow" Factor With Locker Room Renovations

When Penn State recently announced that it was planning a major renovation of its athletic facility in the next year, Coach James Franklin didn't mince words about why. For him, an updated and fully branded facility and locker rooms are what he needs to ensure he can continue to attract top recruits, engage alumni and other supporters, and tell his team's story. According to this article on PennLive.com, here are Coach Franklin's top concerns (see the full article for Penn State's complete request for proposal): 

So what is Penn State hoping to accomplish?

'WOW Factor'

Franklin has beaten the drum for improved branding since he arrived. If the recently emblazoned Lions' head logos on the back of the Beaver Stadium video boards didn't count as a 'WOW factor,' the new renovations will.

The phrase is used 11 times in the document, accompanied by "update branding" in the locker room, weight room, position [meeting] rooms, and just about everywhere else in the Lasch Building.

"Precedent Facilities"

During Franklin's discussion of facilities in May, he encouraged the media to check out the facilities at Oregon, Oklahoma State, and USC. 

Turns out, the coach did so himself.

Oregon, Oklahoma State, and Texas A&M are listed as the "precedent schools" for Lasch Building locker room renovations. While not specifically tied to any one school, the proposed locker room expansion includes lockers that could be worth over $15,000 a piece in value (page 35), media presentation technology, and new carpet, light fixtures, and other amenities.

As for the equipment room, the Seattle Seahawks' Virginia Mason Athletic Center, Oklahoma State, and Tennessee are offered as precedent facilities.

Design Concepts

Each area of the project has an idea behind it. Some of the standouts (and the full list) can be found on page 20.

Brand Objective

"Coach Franklin has requested this be a top tier facility in the country. The millennial generation is very different from previous generations. They have grown up with a camera in their face. They do not know life without the internet. To be successful at a high level it is important PSU consider upgrading the entire facility. This will allow PSU to communicate your story in a meaningful and memorable way to a recruit and parents, student athletes, donors, alumni, faculty and staff. When you walk through the doors you will clearly understand the vision, the standard of excellence, and the unique culture."

Amplify the Culture

"Happy Valley is unique place. 107 Strong is apparent on Saturdays at Beaver Stadium. That pride and passion should be reflected within the space."

Reinforce Coach's Message

"PSU is re-thinking the brand and football the culture to help with the healing process per Coach Franklin. The branding should speak into the new culture of this coaching staff and showcase the vision for future of the program."

Inspiration From the Stadium

"Coach Paterno requested the stadium design to expose the steel structure. One to make it more imposing and two to make it feel blue collar. This was intended to be a reminder to the players that this is a place of work. The design incorporates the exposed steel and cables into the design to give a nod back to the renowned Beaver Stadium."


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