JCJ Architecture helped UMASS Amherst enrich its basketball program and enhance the student athlete experience through the design of the new 56,950 SF basketball development center completed last fall.
At the Groundbreaking ceremony in 2013, UMASS Men’s Basketball Coach Derek Kellogg stated that having a world-class, first-class facility would put UMASS on par with some of the top programs in the country. He said, “We have everything we need as a men’s and women’s basketball program to compete at a national level. Not only will it be a great building for athletics and for men’s and women’s basketball but I think it will be a showpiece for the campus.”
The Champions Center Dedication took place in January of this year. The $22-million facility features dedicated practice courts for each team, office space for the coaching staffs, locker rooms and areas for strength and conditioning along with athletic training services. At the dedication Coach Kellogg said, “Well, I’ll start with the unusual, this place brings energy. I think every time the team, the program, the people who come in to see the building, they feel the energy that this building generates, but also the energy and the passion that’s now coming from the kids who are competing here every day. To come into a first class facility I think exemplifies what’s going on as a university, on the campus; I think it mirrors all the things our leadership group has as a vision for this place.”
Previously, the men’s and women’s teams had no designated practice space and were shuffled between the Mullins Center and the Curry Hicks Physical Education Building. The new facility now serves as the practice and training space that the teams have never had. “It improves the daily lives of our student athletes,” UMASS Women’s Basketball Head Coach, Sharon Dawley said, “It’s improved the experience of the coaching staff, it’s just such a gift. It’s one of those things, I don’t think we will ever stop walking in every morning and saying how lucky we are to be here to enjoy this beautiful building.”
The John Francis Kennedy Champions Center houses everything you'd expect of a modern day college basketball facility. In keeping with Title 9 requirements, it is outfitted with identical practice courts and team rooms; it includes a 2,800 SF weight and strength training space, laundry and equipment checkout, a 1,700 SF nutrition center, a 1,900 SF sports medicine center with a hydrotherapy spa, a kitchenette, VIP lounge, conference room, and a 24-seat film room. Most importantly, the Champions Center serves as a recruitment tool for the UMASS program. As evidenced by UMass coach Derek Kellogg's top-25 incoming 2016 freshman class, the new Center has helped UMass reach the next level in recruiting. Kellogg's 2016/2017 signees also represent the top ranked class across all Atlantic 10 programs, according to ESPN.
JCJ is honored to have worked on this project with UMASS Amherst, and to have turned a vision for the program into a first class state-of-the-art facility.
The Champions center is energy efficient and environmentally sustainable as part of the University’s commitment. It is anticipated to achieve LEED Gold certification.