Covelli Center - Ohio State University Columbus, OH

Project Category : College/University

Total Construction Cost : 40,000,000

Total Gross Square Feet : 120,000

Approximate Cost Per Square Foot : $333

How was the facility funded? : Private donations

Project Description:

The challenge for this effort was to create a 3,800 seat (120,000 sq. ft.) mid-size hybrid arena that would serve as a home and competition facility to seven varsity sports teams represented by volleyball, gymnastics, fencing and wrestling. In addition, it will serve as the occasional venue for women’s basketball as well as serving as the host site for local tournaments, competitions, concerts, banquets, camps, and academic graduations.

The master plan had called for this to be several independent facilities; all with their own development costs and infrastructure requirements. The proposition for this project was to implement a more sustainable, hybrid, and shared use facility solution.

1) Functional Planning

Plan efficiency; functional relationships of key facility components; location of control points; measures taken to maximize use of space.

The Covelli Center at the Ohio State University maximizes efficiency and achieves the strategic goals of the University by consolidating multiple varsity sports into one venue. This shared facility benefits the individual sports by providing more robust support spaces such as Training, Film Rooms, Equipment and Laundry rooms. The Covelli Center can be thought of as two buildings, one housing the arena and the other a state-of-the-art wrestling and training facility, which can be operated independently. Operationally, the arena can accommodate multiple flooring layouts including wrestling, volleyball, gymnastics, fencing, basketball, boxing, and concerts events by way of retractable seating on all four sides and flexible storage solutions.

2) Interior Design

Innovative use of materials to achieve desired aesthetics; interior finishes, detailing and color schemes used; use of natural and artificial lighting; building materials used.

It was a stated priority to enhance the experience of the student athlete through quality interior environments and special amenities. The Covelli Center pairs access to abundant natural daylight with specialized sports lighting that virtually eliminates glare, enhances special lighting effects, and reduces energy consumption. Environmental graphic design creates a dynamic and energetic atmosphere by embracing Scarlet and Gray and what it means to be a Buckeye.

To facilitate fast change over between daily activities and venues - the interior design maximizes integrated use of lighting technology, sound systems and large video walls to capture specific highlights, history and specific needs of each sport or venue depending on desired hourly programmed use.

3) Exterior Design

Integration of the design with surrounding area or buildings; exterior finishes, images and color schemes used; innovative solutions to massing problems.

For universal access, this arena was designed with the main concourse level with surrounding site; by which spectators descend into a lower bowl. This allows the arena to have a lower pedestrian friendly campus profile as half the building volume of the facility is below grade. The main concourse at grade also allows the exterior to have large south facing windows, not typical in arena venues, for natural daylighting as well as to create an open and inviting layout with strong visual connection to the athletic complex as a whole.

The bow of the roof structure just over the seating bowl was to define and highlight the core event space and as well as give the sense of larger arena venue experience. This curved roof form also extends to passively shade the south windows.

The facility is designed with one main entry and one secondary entry for wrestling. The main glass corner entry offers a clear sense of focus, direction, and arrival.

4) Site

Relationship of building to site; site constraints or other problems encountered. The Covelli Center was designed to be an integral part of the overall Ohio State athletic campus which seeks to consolidate infrastructure for several current and future athletic venues. What is perhaps most interesting about the Covelli Center site is what you cannot see under the ground. High water table, as well as all storm water, is pumped via three onsite wells to a common wetland located offsite which addresses quantity control and quality treatment. As part of the athletic campus regional stormwater management plan, conceived by this project, measures have been taken to protect existing stream channels by implementing a water quality policy in accordance with the Ohio EPA policy. The wetland basin detains and treats 89% of the development site.

The siting of service access and loading area was design so that it could also be shared by future facilities to minimize costs and maximize green space in the larger athletic complex development timeline.

5) Cost

Cost of construction for value received; funding or cost-saving measures utilized; innovative capital and operations financing and funding strategies; energy-conservation measures used.

The master plan had called for this to be several independent facilities; all with their own development costs and infrastructure requirements. The proposition for this project was to implement a more sustainable, hybrid, and shared use facility solution. As a result, the consolidation of separate buildings into one facility and implementing a larger complex regional stormwater control solution saved over 25% of the original estimated costs.

Right-sized systems, daylighting, and lighting controls contribute to an annual energy cost savings of 19%. A demand-controlled ventilation sequence is leveraged to reduce the required fresh air intake during low occupancy periods to reduce energy consumption.

Floor Plans