Construction workers have been tearing up the turf at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center as part of a multi-million dollar renovation taking place this summer.
The WHAC renovation includes installation of new FieldTurf inside the facility, replacement of one outdoor practice field and the construction of a new football locker room. It is part of a larger project, which is set to cost about $45 million in total.
“A lot of things we do around here and the funding we get are to improve things for the student athlete,” associate athletic director for facilities operations Don Patko said.
Part of the technology update includes the addition of docking and charging stations for iPads and cell phones inside the new lockers and a state-of-the-art video and replay system that allows players and coaches to review game tape.
Also included with the new locker room is an open lounge with HDTVs and a nutrition area as well as a decorative water wall that will divide the wet and dry sides of the room.
According to an April 23 university press release, the new locker room carries a $2.5 million price tag and the field replacement is part of a larger $1.7 million project that includes replacing the field at Ohio Stadium as well as the outdoor practice field.
The indoor WHAC field was installed in 2003, and the average lifespan of FieldTurf is approximately eight to 10 years, Patko said.
“We run this facility from 7 a.m. to midnight in the winter,” Patko said. “A lot of other sports use this field, so it’s a pretty busy turf.”
According to OSU’s athletic website, the indoor practice field is used year round. The football and field hockey teams use it during the fall, the baseball and softball teams use it during the winter and the lacrosse teams use it during the spring.
In order to be ready for the fall practice schedule, the projects have a target completion date of July 25.
Patko said it is necessary to keep up with new technologies, especially when it comes to what other schools are putting in their facilities.
“You gotta pay attention to what everybody is doing, so you have the features in your locker room that are important to today,” he said.
The WHAC was dedicated in 1987 and, according to OSU’s athletic website, has undergone a $19.5 million transformation. The facility includes a strength and conditioning area of more than 13,000 square feet with another 1,800 square feet dedicated to cardio fitness.
Past renovations at the WHAC include updates to the locker rooms for the men’s and women’s soccer teams and a new men’s lacrosse office according to OSU’s athletic website.
In total, the new locker room is set to be 10,000 square feet.
The entire $45 million facility-improvement project is set to bring a new practice gym for the basketball and hockey teams, improvements and seat expansion at Ohio Stadium, an indoor golf practice facility, new scoreboards at Bill Davis Stadium, Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium and Buckeye field, a new lacrosse office and new locker rooms for the men’s soccer team on top of the field replacements and new football locker room.