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Game-changing architecture

Published April 20, 2018
Athletic Village gives PC West new identity

Putnam City West High School executives foresee wide-ranging benefits from football and baseball stadiums under construction at their west Oklahoma City campus.

“This is going to make us a different high school,” said PC West Head Football Coach Corey Russell. “It will provide us with some identity, something the kids can appreciate and call their own.”

Designed by Sparks Reed Architecture and Interiors, the Putnam City West Athletic Village will raise a 3,500-seat football stadium and a 250-seat baseball stadium alongside the school’s existing softball field. Brick veneer dressed in “Putnam City West Blue” will adorn these steel structures, aligning the complex with existing campus construction designs. A 150+ space parking lot along Eagle Lane will link the three facilities, keeping visitor traffic away from surrounding homes. 

“This complex was designed to protect the integrity of the neighborhood while enhancing the Patriots’ game-day experience,” said Sparks Reed co-founder and principal David Reed. “It should fit the high school campus as well as the surrounding neighborhood and not overpower surrounding homes.”

Globe Construction of Oklahoma City hopes to complete the multi-million-dollar project by the end of 2018.

“This is going to give us something all our own,” said Russell. “It’s going to give our school something it has never had: a sense of community.”

The new football stadium accomplishes that by giving PC West its own field. Since that campus opened in 1968, teams from this 8500 NW 23rd St. school have played their “home” football games at nearby Putnam City High School. This new field will change that, providing covered bleachers, a two-story press box, hospitality suite, and other modern amenities in a layout stretching along one sideline, from end zone to end zone. 

“I think it’s really, really nice,” said Russell. “It’s going to be different. It’s going to give us something our community has never had.”

Head Baseball Coach Travis Brandenberger foresees similar blessings from PC West’s new baseball stadium. This field will more than double the seating capacity of the Patriots’ former home, with a traditional horseshoe bowl wrapping from first to third base. The two-story facility will provide PC West a press box, coaches boxes, lockers, concession stand, and actual dugouts sunken just beneath the playing field — a rare feature at the high school level.

“We should have one of the top 15 baseball stadiums in the state,” said Brandenberger, a 13-year PC West veteran in his sixth year as head coach. “That is going to be a big help with the exposure of our baseball program. It is going to have a big impact on our youth.”

With a new, first-class facility PC West students may call their own, Brandenberger hopes the stadium helps him attract 15 or more new players to his 39-member squad. 

Russell has similar depth and skill aspirations for his 40-player football team.

“This will give us something we can start to build on from the ground up,” said Russell, who just completed his first season as coach at PC West. “This is going to give us something we can take pride in.”

These facilities may also generate new program activities and revenue streams. Both coaches expect to foster vibrant, no- or low-cost summer camp programs at the athletic village. Brandenberger foresees the baseball stadium attracting regional competitions.

“I can see us being the host site for several summer tournaments,” he said.

The complex required some careful planning to accommodate existing structures and the surrounding neighborhood, said Reed. 

To maximize school district funds, the football stadium utilizes an existing practice field and track on the PC West campus. That choice brought some interesting challenges, since one sideline abuts a thriving residential area, and the playing surface sits eight feet above Eagle Lane.  That required Sparks Reed to plot intricate elevation and landscaping work across the property for drainage control and traffic management. The lighting and press box were kept low to not intrude on residences, and a security fence separates the field from the subdivision. The two-story grandstand stretches along the opposite sideline, divided into three sections to work around an existing building.

“We came up with a design more like a NASCAR track, where the bleachers run from the center point of one end zone to the center point of the other end zone,” said Reed. 

“On the first floor we have concessions and restrooms for the stadium, the ticket booth, and locker room for visitors,” he said. “The second floor has a hospitality suite as well as coaches boxes, a box for the announcers, video board operator, and press box. There’s an exterior balcony that oversees the parking lot, so those folks in the hospitality suite and press box can watch the fans arrive.”

In total, the athletic village promises to deliver game and student experiences unique to Putnam City West. 

“I think the design was great,” said Brandenberger. “I was hands-on with David Reed, walking around the property. He was very open with the things I requested to have in the field and the changes we needed to have with that facility. I was really pleased with what David did, with his designs. He did a really good job.”

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