‘The Crew’ to boast bang-up health facility


Columbus Crew training center Image: The Columbus Architectural Studio

To meet the needs of Major League Soccer’s (MLS) Columbus Crew SC, construction engineering company Burns & McDonnell and local architects and construction advisors have joined hands to design the team’s new, 42,000-square-foot OhioHealth Performance Center training facility in US.

Construction of the training facility began in early June 2020 and is expected to be completed by June 2021.

The Columbus Crew SC is an American professional soccer club based in Columbus, Ohio. The Crew competes in Major League Soccer (MLS) as a member of the league’s Eastern Conference and began play in 1996 as one of the 10 charter clubs of the league. Their home venue is the MAPFRE Stadium and the team will soon move into the New Columbus Crew Stadium which is presently under construction.

Columbus Crew training centerImage: The Columbus Architectural Studio

Adjoining the existing MAPFRE Stadium in Ohio, US, the goal of Columbus Crew SC’s new home is to provide a center par excellence for the First Team and Academy players and coaches.

“Leveraging past experience with developing training facilities for professional teams, we collaborated with The Columbus Architectural Studio and Moody Nolan to develop an interior design with a player-focused mentality,” remarked Erica Muhlenbruch, who led the interior design for the project from Burns & McDonnell.

“We met with team ownership, team leaders and coaches regularly to have a full understanding of day-to-day activities and schedules, and applied that information to room sequencing, access points and more, to maximize the efficiency of the space,” Muhlenbruch added.

The facility will be equipped with amenities such as a weight room, player lounge, and recovery room, training room, hydrotherapy area and full-service kitchen and dining space.

Both the First Team and Academy players will each enjoy dedicated locker rooms to themselves, player lounges, training and equipment space.

Columbus Crew training centerImage: The Columbus Architectural Studio

The space was designed to evoke a strong sense of team pride, incorporating the team’s branding and colors into all aspects. It is the only MLS facility to convert a soccer-specific stadium into a larger training complex.

Daylight and visual connections to the exterior, with all heavily occupied spaces along the pitch featuring floor-to-ceiling windows, allowing users and visitors to feel connected whether they are inside or out.

“The development of our OhioHealth Performance Center has been a true team effort,” said Tim Bezbatchenko, President and General Manager of Columbus Crew SC.

“It’s been incredible to be an integrated part of the design team, knowing the new, world-class training facility will be unique to our team’s needs and helps bring to life the ambitious vision that our ownership group, The Haslam and Edwards Family, has for this Club. The collective design team have created a professional and optimal environment that will strengthen and further develop our soccer operations, from our Academy to our First Team, allowing us to attract top talent and build a player development system that will put us in a position to contend for championships,” the top executive added.

Though COVID-19 has not cast its long shadow on the project, nevertheless, Burns & McDonnell and the design team are working in close coordination with Columbus Crew SC ownership to consider design changes for social distancing and health measures in tune with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requirements. To date, some of those changes include shifting away from self-serve areas in the dining space and focusing on materials and fixtures that prevent the growth of bacteria.

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Columbus Crew training centerImage: The Columbus Architectural Studio

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