Here’s a some notes from the media tour of the Dodie Anderson Academic Enrichment Center today:
- Members of the athletics department traveled to a number of school with academic centers and asked them the question – “If you could build it all over again, what would you change?” One of the most common responses was that the department out-grew the building too quickly. As a result, the Dodie was designed to accommodate a variety of needs and uses and was built to be flexible.
- The architecture of the building is designed to connect athletics with academics. Looking to the south of the the Dodie, get a great view of Williams-Brice Stadium. Looking to the north, you can see the main campus of the university. In addition, graphics throughout the building show the bond between the university and the athletics department. The photo below from the second floor of the building is a mural of the Thomas Cooper Library.
- Another interesting design feature by the building’s architects (JHS Architecture) was the idea of expressing athleticism and movement through the overall design in the interior of the building. The design is intended to reflect the dynamic movement of athletes.
- The first floor lobby of the Dodie features an Academic Hall of Fame which shows the academic accomplishments of South Carolina student-athletes. Team and individual awards, Academic All-Americans and SEC awards can be seen in this area. Two touchscreens provide viewers the opportunity to interact with the Hall of Fame and find profiles on student award winners as well as watch videos about academic accomplishments. Director of Academic Services Raymond Harrison said student-athletes can see their peers in the Hall of Fame and it can help them strive for academic excellence.
- A check-in desk is located on each floor and students must scan in with their ID card when entering and departing the building. This helps the academic staff track which students are using the Dodie, where they are going in the building as well as how the building is being used. Information such as this helps them plan better to meet the needs of student-athletes.
- The entire building features wireless internet – students can check out a laptop computer and go to study areas throughout the building to work on assignments.
- Also located in the Dodie is a cafeteria for student-athletes. As part of the training table, student-athletes can come eat breakfast and dinner in the academic center. The cafeteria was also designed to use for multiple purposes. Drop-down projectors and adjustable walls allow the room to be used for presentations, study halls and many other needs.
- A variety of staff members are housed in the the Dodie – sports psychologist, sports nutritionist, academic advisors and learning specialists. “It’s a one-stop shop for our student-athletes,” said Harrison. “They have every resource they need to be successful academically and socially.”
The building will be dedicated this Wednesday. Visit GamecocksOnline.com next week for coverage of the dedication, as well as more photos and video of this new facility at South Carolina.