ORU basketball operations

Making a big impact with a small space

Seeking to make a better impression on recruits, Oral Roberts University asked Sparks Reed Architecture and Interiors to improve the school’s men’s and women’s basketball operations areas. “It’s all about trying to compete with the other schools,” said SR principal Gary Sparks. “These kids are going to come to ORU and make their visit, they’re going to look at everything ORU’s got from top to bottom, and then they’re going to go to some other college. They would make four or five of these visits before making a decision. So it’s kind of like an arms race – who’s got the best places to allow them to become the best athletes.” These improvements had to withstand potential

scratches, jarring impacts, and other mishaps, for the ORU programs shared corridors in Tulsa’s Mabee Center used for concerts and other arena presentations. That led Sparks Reed to design a package of improved finishes, colorful graphics, and lighting enhancements celebrating ORU’s sports heritage while enduring heavy wear and tear. Their work so impressed university leaders, SR expanded its refinements to the basketball meeting and conditioning rooms. “It all shows what a big impact you can make in a small space with wall graphics, plastic laminates, signage, paint,” said SR principal Jill Selman. “It doesn’t seem like that much, and yet it makes a huge difference.”


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