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A university often serves more than just its students. It serves the greater community. Designing a facility to meet the demanding needs of today’s top athletic programs while serving as a venue for community activity takes collaboration and thoughtful planning, and must lead to a result that suits everyone.
Athletic programs have a profound impact on the quality of overall university student life. College Park Center is a landmark, multi-purpose event center that met the need of UT Arlington to move its basketball and volleyball programs out from “behind the curtain” of Texas Hall, the theater home of Mavericks basketball and volleyball for the last 40 years, and into a uniquely designed, modern arena reflective of the quality of the Mavericks athletic programs.
Competition for attracting and retaining elite student athletes is enormous, and university athletics facilities are meaningful, in terms of both sports and academics. UTA College Park Center offers student athletes a one-stop shop for honing and showcasing their talents, both physically and mentally. It has enhanced the UTA experience for the student athletes, student body, faculty and administration by creating an environment that elevates recruiting, creates a distinct home-court advantage, and instills a sense of achievement and importance for a university striving to increase its national influence.
The Vision and The Design
College Park Center is an instant campus landmark that instills a sense of pride, environmental leadership and community for UT Arlington while strengthening the physical and emotional connection of the university to the city of Arlington. The multi-functional revenue generator for the university hosts not only university sports, speakers and commencement ceremonies, but also concerts, entertainment and sporting events, area high school graduations and more.
Conceptually, the Center is an arena in a park and takes great advantage of its siting in the Green at College Park by allowing the outside in at every opportunity. The expansive glazed façades bathe the concourses in natural light and provide views to and from the Green.
College Park Center is a LEED Gold-certified facility, but stands apart from other LEED-certified arenas in the way that it invites the natural environment in to what otherwise might have been a traditional, inward-facing venue. The College Park Center exemplifies what can be accomplished when sustainable building practices and environmentally sound landscape design are combined.
It was named one of the first certified landscapes by the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES), a rigorous new ratings system for site development. The inclusion of the new, SITES-certified 2.6-acre Green at College Park within the LEED boundary makes College Park Center a leader in Texas and beyond.