The University of Colorado – Boulder (CU) campus sits at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, giving all who visit a breathtaking view, which is arguably best taken in from the stands of Folsom Field.
Those stands, seating roughly 50,000 people, overlook campus and give a clear view of the mountain range. These natural features help create an appeal to the university, but they aren’t the only offerings being made to incoming students, including student athletes.
CU has a highly competitive athletics program and contends with stiff competition in the Pac-12 Conference. Recruiting the best student athletes from around the country is high priority. The challenge in doing so, however, is that CU wasn’t making the cut.
“We were lacking in facilities, we were behind the times,” said Jason DePaepe, associate AD/facilities and game day operations. “We were recruiting in schools that had all the amenities that we didn’t have.”
The university needed athletic facilities that rivaled other programs in the nation, one that created a unique space for students to learn, grow and take part in the sports they’ve worked so hard at.
Digging deeper into their challenge, CU found that consistency was also an issue. Coaches and students alike needed to travel to different points across campus for practice, training and other athletic-related activities.
And, what they did have wasn’t eye-catching, an important aspect when trying to win over student athletes who are likely considering other universities as well.
“We want them to be wowed,” DePaepe said. “We want them to be excited, we want them to feel special.”
As recruits travel to the CU campus, DePaepe said he wanted them to feel like they were a part of the program before they’ve even enrolled.
“When you’re recruiting, it’s the finishing touches that get that kid to come to school here,” he said.
To do this, they needed their facilities to reflect their commitment to the athletics program, as well as the students who make it all happen. That’s where AVI Systems came in.
“AVI Systems was selected because of our strength in the market and the ability to take the design concepts and the budget, and make it a reality,” said John Rios, AVI Systems regional sales director.
Rios was brought in to remodel 37 of CU Boulder’s athletic facilities, including locker rooms, strength and conditioning rooms, student lounges, and a press room for pregame and postgame interviews.
Within each of these rooms, specific AV solutions were needed to give coaches and players the ability to meet and discuss tactics off the field.
Coming onto the project, Rios worked with an architect and a local digital signage company called Four Winds Interactive to begin creating a space that accommodated the athletic program’s needs and addressed their challenges.