New revamped Chiles Center aims to please

By The Beacon | October 31, 2012 9:00pm

The new cross country team lockers have been redesigned to match the state of the art men’s and women’s soccer teams. Both basketball teams received the same upgrades. The new locker rooms offer more space, SMART Boards in each locker and a flat screen TV. (Kayla Wong | THE BEACON)

By PJ Marcello, Staff Writer

The space and technology added to the Chiles Center in a $2.5 million renovation this fall is one small step for the Chiles Center and one giant leap for University of Portland athletics.

Fans entering the building will not see most of the renovations, but they may also notice a difference when they see the athletes on the field, pitch and court.

An expanded weight room, modernized men's basketball and cross country locker rooms and a larger, remodeled training room make a big difference in the lives of the student athletes.

The remodel was afforded through a $2 million grant from the Chiles Foundation, and the men's basketball and cross country lockers were donated by UP alum Joe Hollman.

The addition to the weight room will be instrumental in facilitating the needs of all sports on campus, particularly when many players are working out at once.

"The increase in space to accommodate the athletes makes it a safer environment, it will maximize their efficiency in the weight room and add the ability to handle more than one team at a time," Director of Athletic Performance Brad Scott said.

The impact of the renovation is especially significant for the men's basketball team both spatially and technologically.

"Our locker room last year was smaller, less comfortable and outdated," forward John Bailey said. "Now we have wider lockers and better features like a SMART Board so we can watch game film and scouting reports before the coaches are even in the room."

Scott agrees that the improved technological additions are already proving to be a key resource in preparing players in the weight room.

"The technology aspect is huge as far as teaching," Scott said. "For instance being able to hook an iPad up to the big TVs and showing an athlete doing a lift while being able to coach them through the lift."

The upgraded facilities put Chiles' facilities among the best in the West Coast Conference.

"BYU is a different animal because of the student population and things like the football team, but you could put our facilities up against every school in the WCC," Associate Athletic Director of Public Relations Jason Brough said. "The lockers that Joe Hollman donated are made by the same people who did the lockers in the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium, Augusta National Golf Club and various other high-profile facilities."

With the dramatic changes to the behind-the-scenes features of the Chiles Center, there can be an expected improvement on the field of play as well as an extra tool for continuing to recruit successful student athletes.

The renovated weight room offers new machines, officially branded UP weights and new technological advancements to help athletes train more efficiently and safely. (Kayla Wong | THE BEACON)

Lockers from the cross country team during the 2011-’12 season which had not been renovated since they were installed in 1984. (Kayla Wong | THE BEACON)

The refurbrished medical training room offers almost double the space to accommodate more athletes, allowing multiple sports teams to use it at the same time. (Kayla Wong | THE BEACON)