SBD/July 20, 2012/Facilities

Construction Progressing On Univ. Of Oregon's $68M, Phil Knight-Funded Football Ops Building

The $68M operations center that Nike Founder & Chair Phil Knight is building for the Univ. of Oregon football program "will continue the trend of jaw-dropping, donor-funded opulence set by previous Duck athletics construction projects," according to Diane Dietz of the Eugene REGISTER-GUARD. ESPN's ranking of college facilities indicates that the addition "will push UO facilities to 'outrageously impressive.'" The project is "solely in the hands of Knight and his team of architects and project managers." School officials "leased the land near Autzen Stadium to Knight and then stepped aside." His development company "pledged to build and furnish the operations center and return it to the university as a gift, according to the contract." Knight brought in Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects, which "devised two black-metal-and-glass buildings -- a 'teaching box' and an 'office bar' -- totalling 130,000 square feet." The office block "will be mounted on top of a new 25,000-square-foot building housing a weight lifting center." The complex also will offer "two movie theaters; an advanced video editing and distribution center; a players hall; a Duck football museum; defense and offense conference rooms; and a war room set up like the one at the White House, with a long conference table." Knight "reserved naming rights for the complex; he hasn't announced what the name will be." The university "agreed to staff the center -- for six years -- with a facilities manager, museum curator, museum receptionist, food service administrator and a senior administrative assistant for football operations." The building’s maintenance "is also on the university’s nickel." UO Senior Associate AD/Marketing & PR Craig Pintens said, "Operating costs will be 100 percent paid for by the Athletic Department. There will be no state funds involved" (Eugene REGISTER-GUARD, 7/17).
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