For those of you who missed it, here's Part 1 of the photo essay, which covered the dining area, an aerial view of the High Performance Zone and an introduction to the football wing (North Wing, including coaches lockers, players' lockers and football lounge) of the Student Athlete High Performance Center (SAHPC). Part 2 will continue the tour through the SAHPC and take you through the rest of what we saw on our tour of the facility on Monday, January 2, including the Olympic or South wing of the building. You can click on any of the images in this post to enlarge it into another window. I'll include a link to all of my photographs at the end of the post.
After leaving the Football Lounge, we went across to the Tahir Family Team Theater, which I believe is named after Dato' Sri Dr. Tahir, an Indonesian businessman whose four children all attended UC Berkeley.
The theater is separated into two rooms, each holding seats for 60 people, with a removable wall that allows the rooms to be combined for a capacity of 120. Each room had a lectern at the front, which was nicely adorned with the University of California seal. I thought it was a classy touch, rather than using the Cal script. The room has a slight grade so that the seats in the back are higher than the rows in front, like most theaters. Apparently the theater will be used for football team meetings when the entire team needs to be in attendance. It will also be used for press conferences and other, more formal presentations. There is some nice, natural light that enters the theater from the back of the room. The first picture is a view from the front of the room that I consider the "left half" of the combined theater. The second picture is of the lectern and the third picture is from the back of the "left half" of the theater. Notice the removable partition (right side of the picture) that allows the two halves of the room to be combined into one, large theater. I sat in one of the seats -- very comfortable. Let's just say that if these were in 10 Evans, there would be a lot of snoring, well, at least more than there usually is.
From there, we went proceeded on to the High Performance Zone. The entryway to the High Performance Zone contains a lounge area with a huge wrap around sectional sofa that was really comfy.
The kiddies that were with us needed to be reminded not to run in the High Performance Zone with all of the crazy high-tech equipment. As we entered near where the artificial turf is located (far north end of the HP Zone) where they were still installing a bunch of stuff (nets to separate different parts of the field), we had to hurry through, since it is still considered a construction zone. OK, the High Performance Zone is enormous. And everything is blue and gold or adorned with Cal script logo in some way, shape or form. Check out the barbells. Although I didn't get a picture of it, there was one of those funky Alter-G anti-gravity treadmills in the room as well as some other pieces of large athletic training equipment that I have never seen before.
This picture was taken from atop a ladder that was in the far southern end of the High Performance Zone. Even on top of that ladder, it is difficult to see the far north end where the field turf is installed, partly because of the curvature of the room, but partly because the room is so long. The glass windows you see along the right there lead to the Fitness Studio that contain stationary bicycles and some spin-style exercise bicycles.
I'm not sure if you can make it out, but the words "CALIFORNIA GOLDEN BEARS" are embedded in the floor, which, by the way, has some springiness to it to protect the athletes when they are lifting and training.
After that we headed over to the South Treatment and Therapy area which looked like a small medical clinic with high benches and stations where I assume players receive physical therapy, massages, etc.
We also peeked in and saw the South Aqua Therapy room that contained two aqua therapy units, one that is for cold (ice) therapy and one for hot aqua therapy. There were also two huge ice machines in this room, which I'm assuming are to pour ice into the cold therapy unit, hence the Gatorade cooler.
That wrapped up the tour of the North wing of the SAHPC which contained the football facilities, the High Performance Zone and some of the common dining and meeting areas. We then headed over to the South Wing, where the Olympic sports are housed. I'm not exactly sure which sports are included here since some of the other "Olympic" athletic teams like basketball, baseball and swimming and diving continue to be housed either in Haas Pavilion or Spieker Aquatics Complex.
The South wing is separated into four different floors. The ground floor is the Women's Olympic Sports Locker Rooms, the second floor is identical to the first floor, but is for the Men's Olympic Sports Locker Rooms and the third and fourth floors are also identical to each other and contain the offices and team meeting rooms for the Olympic sports. We toured the Women's Locker Rooms and one of the team floors.
This is the hallway in the Women's Olympic Sports Locker Room with doors on either side that lead to a small locker room for each sport.
Since many of these teams had already moved in, we couldn't access the actual locker rooms, but there was a "visitor's locker room" that we were told is essentially identical to the team locker rooms, but out in the open. Here's what that looks like.
We also came across one of the rooms that contains a "polar plunge pool", which sounds to me like it's very, very cold. It's so deceptive, because that looks like a really nice hot tub.
Unlike the football showers that are all open, the Women's Olympic Sports Locker Room showers are all enclosed stalls that have these beautiful cobalt blue glass doors.
We then headed up to the fourth floor where the offices and meeting spaces for each team are located. There were three to five of these two-team "pods" where the offices are on either side of a small sitting area, with a glass trophy/display case for each team. It looks like a flat screen TV will be installed on that blue wall in between the glass cases. Behind the blue wall was a small, common office area that contained things like office supplies, printers, etc.
In this particular "pod," Field Hockey is located on the left and softball is on the right. The team room appears to be the first door and then the coach's office is the door towards the back.
From this floor, there is a door that leads to a small landing that provides a glimpse of the SAHPC rooftop plaza with a nice view of campus and the Campanile. I was told that on a clear day, you should be able to see all the way to the San Francisco Bay.
We then went down one floor and headed over to where one of the reception areas will be. I was told that the gray, cement wall in the back would eventually open up and provide access to Memorial Stadium when the renovation is complete. I think that a doorway would lead to an elevator that would take people up to the club levels and the press boxes. That will be pretty amazing to see once it is complete.
Here's the outside of the building where the reception area was located. The little landing above is where I snapped the picture of the Campanile above.
That essentially completed our tour of the SAHPC, but Ms. Fung took us back to the project management office and along the way explained that they are currently cosmetically repairing and beautifying the exterior wall of Memorial Stadium, which is why there is scaffolding around the western wall with tarps covering the scaffolding. She pointed to a section that wasn't covered as the "sample" section where you can see what the finished restoration will look like. I should've taken a picture of the old, grimy section of the wall for comparison. This section is so much cleaner.
So we went back to the Capital Projects project office where Ms. Fung showed us one of the items pulled from when the tree-sitters were evicted. It's a paper maché mannequin made out of photo-copied money, apparently to protest "capitalism".
In the main conference room of the project trailer, there was a huge panoramic shot of Memorial Stadium that appeared to be from the 2000 Big Game with 2-plus minutes left in the 2nd quarter with Stanfurd leading 16-7. If you recall, this game ended in an OT loss for the Golden Bears.
There was also a bunch of Memorial Stadium memorabilia on the walls and I took photographs of some of the pieces that I thought were pretty interesting, including a program from the 1948 Big Game, an article on the first anniversary of Memorial Stadium, a letter dated February 23, 1922 from the Chairman of the Memorial Stadium Executive Committee with the good news that the Regents approved the construction of Memorial Stadium for the sum of $750,000 and a couple items that appear to have been used to raise the $1,000,000 to build Memorial Stadium back in 1923.
OK folks, well that wraps it up. I hope that you enjoyed the photographs from the new SAHPC and found it somewhat informative. It was awesome to be able to tour it before the facility goes into full use over the next several weeks. I can't thank our host, Gwojen Fung enough for her hospitality and generosity in taking us through the facility and for dealing with my unending questions and picture-taking.
My final thoughts on the facility after walking through it for about an hour and a half is that it truly is a state-of-the-art facility that any student athlete would appreciate. Another thing is that the designers of the facility really maximized the available space. With the exception of a few of the hallways, you don't really get a sense that the facility is a long, narrow, banana-shaped building. There are enough large, open, wide spaces that it never feels cramped. Plus, with a lot of strategically placed windows bringing in natural light, you never get the sense that you are in a concrete underground structure. It is really great to finally see this facility come to fruition and combined with the Memorial Stadium retrofit and renovation, we, as Cal fans, have a lot to look forward to.
For anyone that wants to see my trimmed down full set of pictures, they are available in slideshow format here. I actually ended up using most of the 75 pictures in these two posts.