Architecture students compete to design new athletic facility


From left: Maurice Crump, a sponsor of the design competition; TyNeshia Bradley-Mitchell; winner; and Gilbert L. Rochon, Tuskegee University president.

TUSKEGEE, Ala. (July 26, 2013) — Three students in the Robert R. Taylor School of Architecture competed today in a design project for the proposed Athletic Field House. Adjacent to the football stadium, this facility would house locker rooms, training facilities, office spaces and injury treatment areas.

The three students were chosen after a review of their resumes and an interview to compete to show their designs as well as win a $1,000 prize. The designs were judged on elements such as design flow, environmental sustainability, functionality, theme and unique features. The contestants were: TyNeshia Bradley-Mitchell from Birmingham, Ala.; Perry L. Couch, Jr. from Phenix City, Ala.; and Benjamin Patterson from Montgomery, Ala. The students were supervised by: Emile Dixon, associate professor of architecture, Tyrone N. Jackson, architecture assistant to the vice president and coordinator of the competition; Daya Taylor, interim head of the Department of Architecture; and Harold “Kippy” Tate, vice president of capital projects and facilities services.

The students presented their designs before a panel of judges comprised of professors and Maurice Crump, one of the alumni and former Tuskegee athletes who proposed the project and provided the prize. Crump said he felt that the students should help design the facility because they have first-hand knowledge of the campus and it is a good professional experience.

“It goes back to our beginnings here with Robert R. Taylor and Booker T. Washington wanting students to be involved with the building of our campus,” Daya Taylor said. “So it’s more than a legacy, it’s a living tradition where our students are actively involved with the design of our campus.”

Crump, Class of 1969, is a construction estimator and member of the Tuskegee University Hall of Fame in both football and baseball. He said he and his family share a passion for Tuskegee and that is why they wanted to be involved in building a new athletic facility. His wife, Janice; and brothers, Curtis and Herbert, are all Tuskegee graduates. Responding to a request from Tuskegee University President Gilbert L. Rochon, Crump and his wife organized the effort to design and build a new athletic field house at Cleve L. Abbott Memorial Alumni Stadium. Currently, the family is leading a fundraising campaign to finance the proposed Tiger's Lair project.

“We just felt that we needed to try, before we leave this world, to see what we could do to try to help Tuskegee and to help our [university] president,” Crump said. “We just decided to make it a family thing.”

Rochon expressed gratitude to the Crumps and said more changes are in store for the university’s facilities.

“Thank you for being dedicated and active alumni who help support the achievements of our students,” Rochon said. “This project marks the beginning of several improvements to our athletic facilities to support the success and well-being of our scholar athletes.”

Bradley-Mitchell, a rising fifth year architecture student, created the winning design presentation. Rochon presented her a check during a brief ceremony at Margaret Murray Washington Hall. She and the other designers also received a presidential commemorative coin. After giving Rochon a briefing on her design, Bradley-Mitchell said that she had never designed a field house before and was amazed by all of the amenities that would need to be included in the facility. Her design featured a physician’s office in a rehabilitation room, a coach’s room that overlooks the fitness area, an indoor track, energy conserving triple glazed windows, locker rooms with circular lockers and staff offices surrounding a light well that will facilitate natural light and ventilation.

“Honestly, I am humbled by it,” she said. “I wasn’t in it to try to win, but at the end of the day, I like my design and I promoted it the best way I could.”

Rochon, Perry L. Couch, Jr., Benjamin Patterson, Bradley-Mitchell, and Crump.

TyNeshia Bradley-Mitchell's proposed design model.

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