ODESSA — The D. Kirk Edwards Human Performance Center at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, which has been under construction since September 2018, is nearing completion. Construction should be done by June, and the building should be in use by the fall semester, the project manager said.
The 63,717-square-foot center is a one-story steel-frame building. It’s constructed of stone veneer with metal panel walls and standing seam metal roof. The total cost of the project is $37 million, project manager Ken Frasier said.
The building features a football locker room with 120 lockers and a women’s soccer locker room with 24 lockers. The football lockers will be ventilated, allowing shoes and shoulder pads to dry out, Frasier said. The lockers are code-accessed and have electric outlets in them.
The weight room, which is almost 9,000 square feet, has a floor-to-ceiling wall of windows that will be shared by the kinesiology department and athletics department.
In a hallway by the athletes’ lounge, the coaches have plans to recognize the athletes.
“We envision this to be the wall of fame,” Frasier said. “The coach envisions this wall to be for students who have All-Conference or All-American honors.”
The athletic training room will have hydrotherapy pools for which the temperature can be adjusted to hot or cold depending on what the athlete needs. One pool will have a treadmill – the height of which can be adjusted – and there are cameras under the water to track athletes’ progress and how they step, he said.
The equipment manager’s room will have a pass-through locker for the equipment manager to assist with practice garments, Frasier said.
The building’s academic wing has two classrooms — one can accommodate 40 students; the other can accommodate 60 students. Each classroom is interactive and will have multiple monitors on the wall to allow students or professors to connect online. The 150-seat team meeting room and lecture hall is located on the building’s athletic wing. It has stadium-style seating with tablet desks.
In addition, there are 20 faculty offices and 20 coaches’ offices.
There also is space for cheerleaders and the dance team to work out. It has a resilient floor, a wood floor covering a rubber bottom — the same type of floor on the stage at the Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center, Frasier said.
The D. Kirk Edwards center will provide opportunities for students to learn better, said James Eldridge, kinesiology department chair.
“We are going to have two technologically advanced classrooms. All of the labs that we have will be fantastic for student research.”
There are 300 kinesiology undergraduates and 25 graduate students.
“Our current classrooms are completely out of date with some of the equipment we have in them,” Eldridge said. “Our labs are out of date.”
Eldridge said the new building will allow more collaboration between the kinesiology and the athletic departments.
“We collaborate the most with the athletic training program,” he said. “What we would like to see is us working more with the athletes, getting them in and testing them. We always need fit individuals that we can test some of our ideas on and they are a perfect population to test on.”