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Athletic Facilities Choose JOC for the Win

The madness has begun—March Madness that is. You’ve watched all the highlight reels, skimmed the expert opinions, carefully filled in your bracket and talked a respectable amount of trash to your friends and coworkers. You want the “W,” either with your tournament picks or your alma mater. Winning the big game is even better for the institution who takes home the title. Outside of the celebrations and bragging rights for the year to come, the winning university has even more to look forward to.

Winning the Big Game

Studies have shown success on the basketball court or football field can be one of the quickest and most efficient ways to ensure an increase in undergraduate applications as well as alumni donations. After all, mediocrity doesn’t have a lot of big fans, winners do! This result was dubbed the “Flutie Effect”—after the 30 percent upshot in applications for Boston College attributed to their legendary 1984 victory over the University of Miami due to a last-second “Hail Mary” pass from quarterback Doug Flutie. However, while the benefits are apparent, success on the court or field does not occur overnight.

Attracting high quality students is a prerequisite for the success of a university or college. When weighing college options, many active and ambitious students require groundbreaking research programs, rigorous academic curriculums, a bustling campus and an exceptional athletic club. Student recruitment is crucial, especially for collegiate athletics. In order to attract high caliber student athletes, it helps to have athletic facilities fit for champions. Excellent athletic facilities advertise that the institution is invested in their student athletes and serious about building a superior squad.


Go For The Win With Innovative Methods

Higher education institutions across the country are stepping up their recruiting game with facilities improvements. Texas Tech University has a prominent football program with an abundance of bowl victories and a national brand. Still, it faces fierce competition for recruits from Big 12 opponents and major programs outside of its conference. To gain an advantage over rival institutions, the Red Raiders football team started building a new locker room in March of 2017. With only a few months until summer workouts began, Texas Tech opted for Job Order Contracting (JOC) over traditional procurement methods.

JOC is a proven construction procurement method ideal for renovations, emergency repairs, addressing a backlog of deferred repairs and straightforward new construction. In Texas Tech’s case, JOC spared the school from a protracted bid process. As part of a cooperative purchasing network, Texas Tech accessed ezIQC®, a JOC solution that allows co-op members to take advantage of volume discounts. The $1.01 million locker room renovation took under three months to complete. It’s the crown jewel of the team’s recruiting process, elevating the standard of athletes and illuminating the Red Raiders commitment to winning.

JOC is also a slam dunk for athletic facilities renovations at the University of North Texas (UNT). Cheryl Smith, UNT Facilities Senior Project Manager, says, “Most of our projects on campus are JOC projects.” Recently, UNT used JOC to renovate their football locker rooms, to resurface the tennis courts and make improvements to the basketball court, locker rooms and training space. The student athletes and staff were happy with the renovations and the sleek new facilities. You can watch the full women’s locker room unveiling video on the North Texas Mean Green’s website. Cheryl adds, “We use our JOC program to the fullest, because we are trying to be the best stewards of the university’s money. We try to get the most bang for our buck.”

Be the Best Stewards of Your Budget

Since higher education facilities leaders work within limited budgets for unlimited needs, the savings from a Gordian JOC program can allow campus leaders to route resources to deferred maintenance issues. A good portion of college athletics facilities renovations are funded by alumni donations and alumni feel better about writing checks to successful programs, which means a winning season is sure to boost donor bucks. With increases in donations directed at the athletic department, the university can spend their operational and capital budgets on other campus improvements across departments.

In sports and athletic facilities, it’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get back up. At the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, the Fitzgerald Field House wrestling room had been pinned by aging, mold and water damage. Facilities leaders sprang into action with renovation plans, including mold remediation and restoration due to ongoing water infiltration issues caused by steep topography. The Pitt design team had a full set of plans ready for competitive bid and decided to use the JOC system instead to expedite the project. Ongoing site discoveries, including corrective measures to sunken slab areas, proved challenging. The project was identified and completed in just over three months. It was a successful cooperative effort between contractors, inspectors, designers and the Gordian JOC coordinator to restore this important athletic facility.

Turn a Good Space Into a Great Space

Not all athletic projects need to be major overhauls. The details are just as important. When a leaking gutter above suites at the football stadium was discovered, James Madison University, a public research university in Harrisonburg, Virginia, knew it had to act fast. After all, on gameday those suites are occupied by VIPs including the University President, Athletic Director and major donors—a group that should be proud of the facility. Before the first home game of the season, James Madison used JOC to upgrade the existing gutters with stainless-steel replacements.

Enhancing the details, like upgrading scoreboards and new turf installations, can go a long way to improve the overall facilities. Often, these projects need to happen quickly to avoid disrupting the athletic season or other campus programs. Colleges and universities across the nation utilize Gordian’s higher education facilities solutions from planning to streamlining renovations, alterations and new construction.

Collegiate athletics is a long game. Universities and teams across the country are preparing for the seasons to come. Strategic planning and preliminary arrangements have already been made for institutions to make the most of the off-seasons. It’s time for institutions to step-up their game with state-of-the-art facilities improvements that will catch that five-star recruit’s attention.