Athens, Ga. – Renovations to the University of Georgia Stegeman Coliseum netted the University Architects office statewide honors from the American Institute of Architects. On Oct. 15, the office received the AIA Georgia 2011 Honor Design Award—the top award for the state.
“We’re excited that we got high honors from our peers,” said campus architect Danny Sniff. “To the best of my knowledge, it’s only the second award from the AIA in 20 years that we’ve received. The first was for the botanical gardens, and it was in a religious category. This award was for the innovative design of the Coliseum, which put this award at the highest level.”
The award recognized the University Architects’ design for the Stegeman Coliseum renovations, which include its building-framing glass walls, an upgraded concession area, a larger concourse area and new bathrooms, merchandizing area, first aid room and ticket sales area.
The renovations added 10,000 square feet of concourse space. The restroom additions brought the building up to current plumbing fixture codes.
“We first conceived the idea about three or four years ago,” said Sniff, who is also associate vice president for facilities planning. “We talked about how to go about making the coliseum look more modern and give the facility a kind of face lift. It just needed to be renovated.”
The renovations began on May 12, 2010. While the updates were functionally complete by the start of the 2010-2011 basketball season, the expansion was not officially dedicated until Jan. 18.
While the University Architects did bring in an outside architect, their original design was the one used, and the feasibility study Sniff did to determine the budget “was right on the money,” he said, another factor that helped them receive the AIA award. The renovations cost $13 million.
“To receive their highest award in recognition that we’ve done something really exceptional makes our office and me feel really proud,” Sniff said. “It’s just a great feeling. There are 450 buildings on campus and to have only two receive awards is special in its own right. It speaks volumes about this award.”