$35M UA Football Center Demands Planning

by Chris Bahn  on Monday, May. 30, 2011 12:00 am  

Now imagine that process on a multimillion-dollar facility planned to cover 80,000 SF. If Trantham, who previously worked in facility management at the University of Oklahoma, wanted to spend his entire day reviewing options to the building, he could. And that's no exaggeration.

"You can sit in these meetings and you'll come out with your head hurting," he said. "You sit in there all day and you really haven't gotten to specifics yet, just generalities. Do we want carpeting or tile flooring? We've really just scratched the surface of those details. If you don't do it, you'll get something you don't like, but it's painful getting through it."

Trantham and UA administrators are not alone in the process. Coach Bobby Petrino has been instrumental in the planning and design phases.

Petrino's vision for a football operations center was one of the first things he approached administrators about when he arrived in December 2007. Rough plans for a facility were posted in the Broyles Athletic Center, the current home for football, before Petrino coached his first game for the Razorbacks, and he's continued to provide input as the design, interior design and ideas for functionality are considered.

Arkansas' meeting rooms are cramped. Space is especially tight in rehab and medical areas. Equipment upgrades in some areas are needed, but don't make logistical or financial sense until the transition is complete.

Noted for his attention to detail on the field, Petrino has shown a keen eye through the planning stages. It's something he said he appreciates being involved with.

"This is something I am extremely excited about. The administration has welcomed my ideas on each aspect of the new facility," said Petrino, who has also been involved in fundraising. "As a coach, it is nice to be able to have a large amount of input on a facility that we will be utilizing to reach our goals."

Trantham appreciates the help and is enjoying his part in the process. He has been a part of other building projects, like a stadium expansion at Oklahoma, but this is the largest such project he will be overseeing from start to finish.

"The reward of seeing something that started from nothing in a space and seeing what it becomes will be substantial," Trantham said. "This will be rewarding. But it's a lot of work to do it right."

(Q&A: Petrino: 'Extremely Excited' About New UA Football Center)



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