Photos: Buckeye Football Locker Room to Feature a Waterfall, Locker Upgrades

By Kyle Rowland on May 16, 2014 at 2:05p

Ohio State has strayed from the rivers and the lakes that it’s used to – the Buckeyes have gone chasing waterfalls.

Part of the $2.5 million facelift at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center is the addition of a water wall, bisecting the new locker room from the therapy quarters. It’s all in the name of recruiting, or keeping up with the Joneses. In this case, maybe it’s the Sabans. Alabama’s newly renovated locker room also includes a waterfall.  

For two months months, hard hats – not football helmets – will become the headwear of choice around the WHAC. The project features a new reconfigured 10,000-square-foot locker room, HDTVs, a lounge and a nutrition area. The lockers will include iPhone and iPod docking/charging stations.

“The locker room is something we had to fit in and get done by July,” associate athletic director for facilities Dan Patko said. “It will have all the amenities. It will be state of the art.”

Head coach Urban Meyer wasn’t a fan of the old boomerang setup. Now, the team will be in a more central location, allowing easier communication points for coaches.

The indoor practice field is also being replaced for the first time since 2003, as well as one of the outdoor playing surfaces.  

“We always have to make sure product life cycles are met an we have to make sure it’s safe for the student-athlete,” Patko said. “If a turf field is beyond 8-10 years of life, we have to make sure it’s safe. We have to check the hardness and all that.”

Stadiums are still important in wooing recruits. But practice facilities are becoming increasingly vital. Renovations and other construction projects are becoming a constant in college football. Oregon, Alabama and Tennessee are three schools that have done recent projects on football-specific buildings.

Oregon’s 145,000-square-foot Hatfield-Dowlin Complex cost $68 million.

“I don’t like to make too many comments about Oregon. Oregon’s what they are,” Patko said. “We’re going to put together a very nice locker room for the Buckeyes, and this locker room will have all the amenities and all the fancy things you need to make sure everyone is comfortable in that locker room. It will also be functional. Part of a locker room and the importance is that it has to be comfortable for student-athlete. A lot of things we do around here, the funding we get, is to improve things for the student-athlete.”

Just five years ago, when Michigan completed the Al Glick Fieldhouse, a 104,000-square-foot facility at a cost of $26 million, it was considered one of the sport’s crown jewels. But like cell phone technology, numerous features in football facilities become obsolete during the first season.

It’s created an arms race that’s spiraling out of control. The biggest impact zone is recruiting. Schools are in the business of extravagance, luxury and opulence in the name of attracting four- and five-star players.

“A lot of what you see in some places is plainly addressing deferred maintenance,” Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith told Eleven Warriors in April. “Typically when you deal with deferred maintenance you also make improvements that help current athletes and help in recruiting. Athletics is no different than engineering or medicine, to attract the best and retain the best, you have to have the resources, which include facilities.”

Dating to 2001, Ohio State has spent nearly $250 million on upgrades to football facilities. In that same time frame, Big Ten member universities have spent more than $1.5 billion on new or upgraded football venues, ranging from a new stadium (Minnesota) to new practice facilities to state-of-the-art scoreboards. And from 1995-2005, costs on athletic facilities across the country were greater than $15 billion.

Said Patko: “A lot of what we do relates back to the student-athlete, making sure we’re always revitalizing, always looking forward and always looking for renewal.”


Comments Show All Comments

BuckeyeSki's picture

A TLC reference Kyle? For Shame!!!


I would like to make a motion that any further mentions of TLC on 11Dub refer only to rasslin' matches involving Tables, Ladders and Chairs

Banned from BlackShoeDiaries since 2008. Crime: Slander/Defamation of Character Judgement: Guilty

+1 HS
jpbuckeye's picture

I apologize for my ignorance, but, what is a TLC?

BucksfanXC's picture

I knew I shoulda listened to those rivers and lakes.

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

+1 HS
BuckeyeSki's picture

When will the Dry Goods store have a "Ramzy Trolled me so hard" shirt available? Well done sir well done

Banned from BlackShoeDiaries since 2008. Crime: Slander/Defamation of Character Judgement: Guilty

+5 HS
buckeyeEddie27's picture

Great song. Period.
My older sister had this CD on repeat for like six months when it came out.

I know there's a game Saturday, and my ass will be there.

-2 HS
Knarcisi's picture

Now now,  there's only a certain "direction" we go around here. 

+2 HS
ibuck's picture

Stop the arms race...

It’s created an arms race that’s spiraling out of control. The biggest impact zone is recruiting. Schools are in the business of extravagance, luxury and opulence in the name of attracting four- and five-star players.

...and bring back COLLEGE football, not the semi-pro bs that's going on today, driven by the Sabans and Phil Knights.

Our honor defend, so we'll fight to the end !

If you can't win your conference, just quietly accept your non-playoff bowl game.

+1 HS
BuckeyeStrong2's picture

That's an admirable thought and I'm with the idea... As long as OSU is not the first school to do this. The first time recruits get told 'no' is when they start signing elsewhere.


+6 HS
route4buckeye's picture

Solid TLC reference.

+1 HS
rosycheeks's picture

I like the waterfall idea, but I'll like it a lot more if it's being deposited into a giant toilet with an M in it.

+2 HS
BuckeyeBBD's picture

What? I don't know what you're talking about.  Ya gotta creep... creep

"The height of human desire is what wins, whether it's on Normandy Beach or in Ohio Stadium." - Wayne Woodrow Hayes

+3 HS
alust2013's picture

Yikes, that's a lot of money.

...and Michigan still sucks.

Whoa Nellie's picture

Presumably a feng shui expert was consulted?

“Don’t fear criticism. The stands are full of critics. They play no ball. They fight no fights. They make no mistakes because they attempt nothing. Down on the field are the doers, they make mistakes because they attempt many things.”

+5 HS
BuckToAsT's picture

The Athletics Department needs to rennovate St. John's Arena.  Anyone who has been can vouch for how awesome Skull Sessions are.  They're a huge part of football saturdays!


Oh yeah, and I guess it would help out non-revenue sports that still call the arena home.


UPDATE:  I just saw that OSU is tearing that sucker down:

+3 HS
BroJim's picture

Im for the upgrades!

I season my simple food with hunger

+1 HS
stevebelliseeya's picture

I-Phone docking stations? Everyone knows Android is the way to go...Apple is conglomerate garbage. 

"We are eternal. All this pain is an illusion." - Tool

+2 HS
Chief B1G Dump's picture

Takes money to make money. 

We go HAM at both!

swainpm's picture

Just read about the Covelli Arena mentioned by Bucktoast above in the thread. No more St Johns/Skull Session!?!! Man that is the most depressing news I have heard in a while. Feels like someone just killed one of my old friends.

+1 HS
Floyd Stahl's picture

What if they have an Android device?

+1 HS
hit_the_couch's picture

I don't know how many of them have iphone or android, but I think the dock is more or less for the ipads the school gives the athletes. I'm pretty sure the new gen iphones use the same connector as the ipad. I think the did away with the 30 pin connectors.

And then I told her...i'm no weatherman, but tonight's forecast is calling for several inches!

+2 HS
OnceaBuckeye's picture

I know this is being done to keep up with the rest of the college football world and maintain our recruiting stature, but with big name recruits with visits and camps before the renovations are to be completed, could it have an adverse effect on recruiting?  "Here is a picture of what your locker room and indoor training facilities will look like once completed!" just doesn't seem to have the same excitement and impact as actually standing in the greatness of completed facilities.

And when we win the game we'll buy a keg of brew!

Buckeye5000's picture

It might have an adverse effect in the short term but the work will be done before the beginning of August. So it is just for this summer and should help in the future. Don't just look at the short term effects.

2014 Undisputed National Champions!

+1 HS
CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

Wow, the place is going to be pretty nice! 

Go Bucks!!

+1 HS
CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

Wow, the place is going to be pretty nice! 

Go Bucks!!

BuckeyePoetLaureate's picture

I know that the Ohio State athletics department is financially self-sufficient, and that's great.  I guess I just don't understand how this arms race is acceptable at colleges that subsidize the athletics department...especially when these institutions have shifted a significant percentage of classes to part-time faculty who earn, at most, a few thousand dollars to teach a class. 

Proud alumnus of the Ohio State Creative Writing MFA Program.  Creator of the writing craft site Great Writers Steal.

+1 HS
cdub4's picture

I am sure there are exceptions, but I would say most of the schools mentioned are getting their ammunition in the arms race from private donations. Phil Knight paid for almost everything for Oregon out of his pocket, I believe Bama is self sufficient, Oklahoma State has T. Boone Pickens, and I think most of the improvements at Michigan were funded by boosters.

+1 HS
seafus26's picture

Maybe not in my lifetime, but probably my soon to be child's, the arms race will include the newest and most extravagant stadiums. I'm not saying I'm for this, because God knows how much I love the  'Shoe. I think we're seeing beginning signs of this with Baylor looking for ways to compete with the big boys and building that beautiful new but small to our standards right on the Braxos River and putting in the amenities to make it quite a riverfront tailgate (not that just thrown together crap Tennessee makes do with for their waterfront tailgates). I hope it's not in my day, as I'd truly miss tge 'Shoe. But when the day comes, I can see and would be proud to know OSU would be a front runner and build the best.

Another note, I'd be interested to know what we spent on football facilities, stadium , etc vs scUM in the BCS era. I'd have to believe we spent far more and reaped the rewards from it.

Go Bucks and michigan STILL SUCKS!

PoKeY21's picture

Amateurism at its Finest

"It was a woman who drove me to drink, come to think of it I never did hang around to thank her for that"

hit_the_couch's picture

I hope this isn't being paid for with tuition money or causes another tuition hike. I'm all for them have nice facilities but don't make the students pay for it.

And then I told her...i'm no weatherman, but tonight's forecast is calling for several inches!

+1 HS
SilverBullet-98's picture

Where will this put the WHAC, in the top 3 or 5 in the country I hope??

I know Oregon and Okie State are great as well,

Also Nebraska has always had top shelf facilities and weightroom to.

If these arms races continue I feel good we are in good shape being Buckeyes. We will always be a top 10 destination facility wise, top 3-5 Stadium(though No.1 in my Heart).

Uniforms/Helmits - CHECK!!

Coaching- A+

Tradition- A+

Nothing but the best for our Past, Present and FUTURE BUCKEYE!!!!


"The Past Builds the Future"