So a good friend of mine that lives in Southside Berkeley sends me an email a few days ago saying that his cousin is an architect on the Student Athlete High Performance Center (SAHPC) and that she offered to give him a personal tour of the facility on January 2 in the afternoon. He thought about who else might be interested in going and generously thought of me. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity. So we arranged to meet in the Optometry parking lot behind Wurster Hall around 3:30 pm on Monday, January 2.
When we arrived, my friend introduced me to his cousin, Gwojen Fung, who is actually the Project Manager for the SAHPC. She works for the university in the Capital Projects division as a project manager and her main project for the last few years has been the SAHPC, which she estimates cost about $150 million to build. She told us that this was probably the last chance for her to give us a pretty comprehensive tour since over the next few weeks there will be a massive "move-in" at which time visitors wouldn't really have access to things like the women's locker room area. We got really lucky with the timing.
I took almost 100 pictures, but I'll try to show just some of the good stuff in here and in the second installment I'll provide a link to an edited album of about 75 pictures.
We entered the SAHPC from an entrance in the middle of the building, underneath what is currently referred to as the SAHPC Plaza. From this entrance, the "football wing" and High Performance Zone, or North Wing is to the left, while the Olympic sports wing, or South Wing is to the right. This exterior area is currently accessible to the public.
Inside, I immediately noticed the numbers on the ground that represent the yard markers on the Memorial Stadium playing field. Here's mini-me sporting his new Cal football helmet (that Santa brought him for Christmas) at the point where the 50 yard line is located. Everyone DRINK!
We then went into the dining area, which overlooks the High Performance Zone (weight and training facility) below. Those huge glass windows look down onto the High Performance Zone (HP Zone).
Here is an "aerial" view of the High Performance Zone (taken from the dining area) that many of you may have already seen from a prior picture. It is truly huge. They were still installing some netting on the far end of the HP Zone, where the artificial turf is located, which is why you still see some covering over the green turf at the far end.
Right next door to the dining facility is the Cronk Meeting Room, which I can only assume is named after William F. "Rick" Cronk of Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream fame. It was dark in there, but it looks like this.
The main hallway of the SAHPC runs alongside the stadium, thus the curved hallways as seen here. It's along this wall that the field yard markers can be found on the floor.
Next up, the Cal Football wing. As Ms. Fung told us, "It's all about football--football, football, football." This is the new reality we live in, I suppose. We entered the Cal Football section, which, I believe, the coaches will be moving into relatively soon.
This is the reception area for the football offices.
To the right of this area are offices for recruiting staff and of course, Rope Coach! These offices had already been moved into, probably due to the importance of showing the SAHPC to potential recruits.
There were a bunch of these poster boards showing Cal players in the NFL. I think these were to show recruits the track record of Tedford and team in placing players in the NFL. Here's the one of Brandon Mebane (All hail Coach Lupoi!).
Here's a shot of the door to the "Broadcast Studio" or video room. Not all of the video equipment was installed yet, but you could see where the monitors and video equipment were going to go inside. There are large, deep, built-in trophy display cases along the wall of the Broadcast Studio.
This is a shot of the lounge or waiting area in front of the reception desk. It also has the poster board for Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers. If that doesn't impress recruits, I don't know what will. The text on there says "From Cal to Super Bowl MVP".
The next section of the football wing were meeting rooms for all the position coaches. We couldn't go in the rooms as they were still being installed, but I could see white boards, overhead projector screens and long desks in rows. They sort of look like mini-classrooms. They were all dark so I didn't really get any good pictures of them. Here are a few of the rooms we saw.
Next up, the Coaches Lockers. Yes, you read that right. There is a locker room just for the coaches. Shouldn't there be an apostrophe in there somewhere?
When you first enter the Coaches Locker area, there's a nice big, stainless steel refrigerator and freezer that would make any home chef blush. That little white slot is for the coaches to toss used towels into for laundering.
The actual locker room area looks like this, and the two couches are facing what will be a large flat screen TV mounted on the wall. This really should be the "Assistant Coaches Lockers" since apparently Tedford has a whole suite that we didn't get to see because it was in the process of being fully installed and furnished.
The bathroom area included a couple shower stalls and a full blown steam room that was actually functioning! If you ever need to send mail to the Steam Room, address it to the SAHPC, Room 210.
We left the Coaches Lockers and headed towards the football players' locker room. There is a small landing with stairs that lead down to the players' locker room and with stairs that lead up to the stadium. Apparently, the football players will be able to ascend from their locker room directly into the stadium, although I'm not exactly sure where the top of this staircase will lead to in the stadium. We didn't get to go up there.
Next up, the football locker room. You may have seen pictures of the lockers in some of the football recruits' twitter pics (Treggs for one), but hopefully these pictures capture the sheer size of the locker room. Each locker space is outfitted with several miniature fans to dry out the player's gear. The small foot locker on the bottom opens up for shoe storage and contains two small fans. And the top shelf of the locker for shoulder pad shell storage also contains a small fan for ventilation. I've seen the Oakland Raiders locker room in their Alameda facility and I'd have to say that this definitely rivals what the Raiders have.
Here's a shot of the in-laid Cal script on the carpet of the locker room. There was also a large projection screen right behind the Cal script, presumably to show the players video in the locker room, if necessary.
Get ready to drink again. Mini-Me showing off a locker.
Here's a shot of the showers in the locker room. Back in the corner from where I am taking the picture, there is also a urinal, in case, you know, someone needs to take a leak during their shower. This is actually only one half of the total shower area as there is another whole shower space as big as this one on the other side of that blue wall.
OK, just a couple more to go. Outside of the football players' locker room is the football lounge. It looks to be an area where players can sit on stools at a counter and eat, kick back on a couch and watch TV (5 Sharp flat screen TVs!), play ping pong and just hang out. There were also 4 spanking new iMacs along the back wall. No foosball table yet -- someone needs to get on that. A decorated Christmas tree was still in the football lounge, presumably to bring recruits some holiday cheer.
The next installment will take us through the Team Theater, the High Performance Zone, some of the treatment and therapy areas, through one level of the Olympic wing (Women's locker rooms), the reception area and through some interesting finds in the Capital Projects project office trailer.
Update: Part 2 of the photo essay is now available.