Celebrating the student-athlete

Six things you might not know about the Badgers' new Student-Athlete Performance Center

VOA’s design for an athletic village “hub” near University of Wisconsin’s Camp Randall Stadium smartly upends expectations while meeting the needs of one of the nation’s finest intercollegiate athletics programs.

A master plan assessment for the University of Wisconsin produced a concept for an athletic village with its “hub” near Camp Randall Stadium. The hub would include training facilities, an academic center, locker rooms and other key components for an exceptional student athlete performance program.

The solution developed by project design architect VOA and partner firm Berners-Schober & Associates of Green Bay, Wisconsin incorporates the full array of proposed improvements within a handsome addition to Camp Randall Stadium and renovated space at the nearby McClain Center.


It celebrates the student-athlete. The owner-architect team chose to elevate the emphasis on student in ‘student-athlete,’ quite literally. The design relocated The Fetzer Academic Center from the McClain Center basement to the upper floors of the new addition to the stadium. Classroom and study spaces, collected behind the monumental curved arcade rendered in brick, stone and steel, are clearly visible to the public and send a strong message to prospective students and their families: the education of the student athlete is supported and valued by the University of Wisconsin.


It creates green space. VOA took an adaptive reuse approach to the project by improving existing facilities and making a sympathetic addition to the stadium. This approach shortened travel distances and created a green space. VOA’s sustainable approach replaced established plans to build an entirely new building on the last remaining open lot in this area of the campus. The lot is now landscaped and shared by the University’s Athletic and Engineering Departments.


It reuses old facilities and unused spaces. A sustainable approach to adaptive reuse involved reusing old facilities and creating new ones in unused spaces, some below ground. The facility encompasses over 250,000 square feet in new construction and connects two existing facilities, the McClain Field House and Camp Randall Stadium. The program includes strength and conditioning facilities, training room, lockers, equipment rooms and laundry as well as a prominent academic center.

Training and fitness facilities are located in the remodeled McClain Center basement, under the indoor training facility’s 80-yard practice football field, and in previously unused spaces under the stadium grandstand.

The main addition to Camp Randall features a curved, arcaded façade modeled on classic arenas and sympathetic to the original stadium’s architecture. The contemporary triangular glass addition encloses a circulation area for prospective students entering the recruiting suite.


Construction was smart. Disruption of athletics and academics was minimized during construction. The work was broken into seventeen distinct projects and construction took place in three phases to work around the schedules of various sports programs.

It’s sporty. In addition to the new and improved training, academic and recruiting facilities, the project also includes a new tunnel to the stadium floor for the football team, a new scoreboard, new artificial turf for the stadium, a new roof for the McClain Center and a comprehensive landscaping program for the entire site.

It’s award-winning. The Camp Randall Stadium Student-Athlete Performance Center in Madison, WI was honored by The Daily Reporter newspaper with one of thirty Top Projects of 2013 awards.

Size: 250,000 square feet
Team: Bill Ketcham, Mike Siegel, Clint Moewe, John Scherer, Monika Thadani, Al Migon, Ben Buehrle and Eric Stanley
Photos by Mark Ballogg

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