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In its 21-year history, the Florida Gators Softball team has won two national championships, eight SEC regular-season championships, and five SEC tournament championships. Following his arrival in 2006, coach Tim Walton built a championship program but their home at Katie Seashole Pressly Softball Stadium remained largely unchanged – until now.
Walker Architects teamed up with Populous to design a complete reconstruction of the field and facilities. Our ambition was to reflect the world-class caliber of play and the championship culture of the team and the University of Florida. We placed ourselves in the shoes of the players, fans, and coaches to ask how the stadium could elevate the experience for everyone from the dugout to the stands.
Engaging fans from the moment of arrival meant the dramatic change of raising the building high above field level to frame the first impression and allow for the best possible views. The 360-degree open concourse expands seating capacity to approximately 2,800 and allows fans to participate in the game in a completely new way.
This is a team with a big heart, as shown by the work they’ve done to support and raise awareness of the fight against pediatric cancer. We created spaces that inspire players to rally around their cause and foster the kind of team spirit that brings home championships. A spacious team lounge, a dramatic locker room, an on-site training room, and a spa-like shower experience all add up to an environment that truly supports the players.
Coaching and training staff now have a home at the stadium as well – a critical change to allow for more engagement with the team and to give players direct access to their coaches. We focused on proximity and views when it came to the design, ensuring that the entire facility boosts not only the coaches’ active work with the team but a stellar recruiting program as well.
Careful attention to the recruiting path drove the design to offer a multitude of choices and celebrate the team’s accomplishments at every turn. Graphics and displays highlight team spirit along with their history and star players, inviting all who enter to be part of a championship experience.
The renovation and expansion of the Reitz Student Union, built in 1967, expanded facilities, services, and programs supporting the University of Florida’s diverse campus community, increased energy efficiency, reduced operational costs, and greatly enhanced comfort and functionality.
Phase 1, the 100,000 sf addition, included entry and food court renovations, meeting rooms, lounges, dance rehearsal studios, a ballroom, and offices and support space for the Center for Leadership and Service, the Department of Student Activities and Involvement, the Office of Multicultural and Diversity Affairs, GatorWell Health Promotion Services, and student clubs and organizations.
Phase 2, the 50,000 sf renovation, included new energy-efficient windows and doors, restoration of exterior surfaces and structural components, replacement and upgrades of electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems, and upgrades to interior finishes and lighting.
Careful phasing ensured that the Reitz continued to serve UF’s 50,000 students throughout construction.
University Athletic Association
Populous (Sports Consultant)
Structural Engineers Group (Structural)
Moses & Associates (MEPF)
CHW Professional Consultants (Civil)
Dimensional Innovations (Environmental Branding)
Field and Fork Food PantryProject type