Soccer Programs Team Up With OSU's AIHM Department For New Stadium Design

June 11, 2003

CORVALLIS, Ore. - -

The Oregon State University men's and women's soccer programs have partnered with the school's Apparel, Interiors, Housing and Merchandising Department to create designs for a new stadium at Paul Lorenz Field on campus.

Several plans are under consideration, and no timeline has been set for construction.

Women's head coach Steve Fennah, assistants Heidi Slaymaker and Linus Rhode, and men's head coach Dana Taylor met with assistant professors Vic Douglass and Carol Caughey in April to discuss the project.

Douglass' AIHM 432 Advanced Housing and Design class and Caughey's AIHM 443 Studio Three Commercial Design class were then handed the task of creating the design boards for the coaches to consider.

Working in groups of three, the students set to work for three to four weeks, consulting frequently with Fennah and the coaches on a wide range of details.

'We stuffed their heads full of information for four years, and now they're going to leave this class and go out on their own in the world, so this is their last opportunity in school to have a 'knock-your-socks-off' project that they can show a potential employer,' Douglass said. 'I think they did that quite adequately with this project.'

Added Caughey: 'The reason we jumped at it right away is that dealing with real clients is so different than Vic and I inventing somebody's wall office and saying, 'You have to space-plan it for 40 lawyers,' and so on.'

'This way, they had to listen to Steve and Dana and their assistants, do the research with the athletic department, access the web, obtain the logos, get the size of the stadium and all that. They had to deal with the quirks of a regular person, which makes such a difference.'

Douglass' and Caughey's classes have worked with departments on campus in the past, designing renovations and new additions, including rooms in the Memorial Union such as the Martin Luther King and Asian/Pacific American rooms, in addition to the design for the Student Involvement Office in Snell Hall. Past classes have also had a hand in redesigning parts of the Pharmacy Building and Education Hall.

Students in Caughey's and Douglass' classes have one 'real' project per term, according to Caughey, giving the future designers practical experience to wow employers.

'Now, when they show their portfolio to a potential employer, they can say, 'This was real. The soccer coaches came to us and asked us to do this,'' Caughey said.

Now that the initial designs are done, some of the students have volunteered their time during the summer to meet with the coaches and continue with the project. Fennah, Taylor and their assistants plan to pick and choose elements from the original plans, and the students will tackle the task of combining those pieces into a finished design.

'We're very excited by the results,' Fennah said of the stadium ideas. 'They are a testament to the outstanding education the students receive at Oregon State, and the fine jobs the professors have done with their classes. We were absolutely amazed with what came out of the project'

'What we got were very professional, finished pieces of work. We're very excited by the designs of the stadium and look forward to continuing with the project.'

The link between the two parties was Linda Johnson, currently an Associate Athletic Director for Academics in the Beaver Athletic Department.

Prior to her current position, Johnson was an advisor in the now-merged Health and Human Performance and Home Economics (which includes Douglass' and Caughey's classes) academic advising offices, and she knew the professors were in the market for an interdisciplinary project.

'I went and saw Linda Johnson, who used to be an HHP advisor, and now works in athletics, to see if anyone on campus might be interested,' Fennah said. 'Linda gave me Vic and Carol's names, and they responded immediately and were super-enthusiastic.'

The focus of Caughey's Interior Design class leaned toward the layout of the grandstand and how to utilize the space underneath it, while Douglass' Advanced Housing Design group tackled the overall scheme, including the field, landscaping, shape of the grandstand and cover, a plaza and a memorial.

Athletic facilities were not a completely foreign concept in Douglass' and Caughey's classes; a few years ago, Douglass' group planned a fieldhouse for the town of Molalla, Ore. The design incorporated the fieldhouse, realignment of three baseball diamonds, and irrigation and drainage plans. The final design was warmly received by the rural town.

'That was a really wonderful project,' Douglass said. 'They received media coverage from TV and newspapers, and everybody from Molalla turned out for the presentation.'

Currently, OSU's Wayne Valley Stadium features a 1,500-seat grandstand that rises on the west side of the pitch and is capped by an enclosed pressbox, while covered team benches line the east sideline. Valley Stadium was completed in 1996.

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