D. Kirk Edwards performance center taking shape

Posted on February 5, 2020

The state-of-the-art D. Kirk Edwards Family Human Performance Center at the University of Texas Permian Basin continues to take shape and substantial completion is anticipated for June 22.

The single-story building will house a biomechanics lab, athletic training education lab, exercise physiology lab, classrooms, team meeting room/lecture hall with 150 seats, faculty and coaches’ offices, a men’s football locker room with 120 lockers, a women’s soccer locker room with 24 lockers, a nearly 9,000-square-foot weight room shared between kinesiology and athletics and a hydro therapy pool room/athletic training room.

The project architect is SmithGroup of Dallas. The construction administrator is Vandergriff Group Architects of Midland and the construction manager is Lott Brothers of Austin. Total project cost is $37 million.

The university granted a tour on Wednesday of the building, which encloses 63,717 gross square feet.

Ken Frasier, project manager for facilities management at UTPB, and Brian E. Jorgensen, project engineer II, with Lott Brothers Construction Co. conducted the tour.

For the biomechanics lab, Frasier said runners can get a head start and come in through a warehouse-like door.

“There’s force plates. The force plates are about 18 inches by 18 inches and through computers and sensors and all that kind of stuff it measures the heel to toe forces, distance and pressure and all that stuff and they can look at speeds. They’ll have cameras around. Then at the end, we’ll have a pad kind of like you would see at gym, a basketball gym,” Frasier said.

The building also will feature an athletes’ lounge with TVs and places to play Xbox, charging stations where they can do assignments and just relax.

There will be a wall of fame for students that achieve honors.

The football lockers, housed in a football-shaped area, will draw air through the shoes and shoulder pads to help dry them out.

“Then of course, they have a locker in here that they can put their wallet and phone and things like that,” Frasier said. And there will be an area to hang their uniforms.

Frasier said the hydrotherapy pools can be made hot and cold. He said athletes will probably go into the cold pool first to bring down their body temperature and then into the hot pool, similar in temperature to a Jacuzzi.

“There will be a treadmill in the pool where they walk in the treadmill inside the pool. We (will) have cameras that they can monitor their progress, the way they step and look at it from a very medicinal value. I’ve been told there’s nothing like this in all of West Texas, so it’s very high-tech,” Frasier said.

The building is going to have electronic card access, which is what Frasier said the university is moving toward.

The structure is named for Odessa businessman and friend to UTPB, Kirk Edwards.