Clemson University recently targeted a full-scale renovation of its historic Littlejohn Coliseum to accommodate the institution’s growing athletics program. The arena, which was first opened in 1968, underwent a series of additions in the mid-2000s.
The previous coliseum was not of sufficient size to accommodate the university’s growing sports programs. Moreover, the facility’s exterior façade shows serious signs of wear and tear. The renovation was the perfect opportunity to provide a cohesive aesthetic to the overall structure, while creating a top-notch arena for competition in the powerhouse ACC Conference.
“The coliseum was constructed with exposed steel columns and exterior wall plates, which over the years had patinated to a dull rust color, leaving heavy stains on the concrete pedestrian apron that surrounded the facility,” said Scott May, Principal at LS3P, the architecture firm responsible for the design.
The comprehensive renovation starts with sit-down dining space tucked underneath the stands and ends with a standing-room deck running into the bowl. The deck has the flexibility to set up multiple seating arrangements, all with prime views of the game in the 9,000-seat arena.
The project also included a number of improvements to back-of-house and practice spaces, such as a build-out of the NCAA-regulation practice facility, a basketball operations center, coaches offices, weight rooms, locker rooms, recruitment gathering spaces, and video editing and theater areas. The new entrance to Littlejohn, the Burton Gallery, is a high-volume, 10,000-square-foot hall that provides an eye-catching first impression to fans.
“Through a series of design studies, our team collaborated with both the athletics director and the campus planner to develop a design that reflected the character of the campus and the aspirations of the athletics department,” says May. “This level of collaboration extended to the choice of metal panels. The LS3P-led design team had used CENTRIA insulated metal panels on several previous commissions, and the team was familiar with the array of available panel offerings, colors, and properties.
“We evaluated a number of products but returned to CENTRIA not only for its familiarity and price point, but also because a trusted installer (Steel Clad, Inc.) familiar with CENTRIA was brought on by the construction manager to complete the installation,” Mays added. “This combination of factors made sense for the coliseum.”
Renovations to the Clemson Littlejohn Coliseum utilized the uniquely multi-purpose capabilities of CENTRIA Formawall Dimension Series insulated metal panels. Addressing aesthetic, performance and technical challenges, these metal panels in Arctic Ice and Slate Grey improved the building’s overall modern appearance and the fan experience at the arena.
“The exterior steel cladding plates were originally uninsulated, which transferred a tremendous amount of radiant heat into the facility,” Mays explained. “CENTRIA’s insulated metal panels offered an opportunity to not only clad the facility in an insulated skin, but possessed both colors and textures to unify the building facades and impart a contemporary aesthetic.”
CENTRIA was also responsible for custom flashings and custom louvers per the design requirements. Throughout the multifaceted process, all involved parties were in close contact to achieve the project goals in a timely fashion – a critical part of the overall schedule, which was expedited by the university’s sports season.