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Tuesday July 1, 2014 A look at the O'Connell Center designers

Updated: 10:49pm, July 1

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Those were some pretty spiffy images Sports Illustrated published Tuesday, courtesy of the architectural firm NBBJ, of what the renovated O’Connell Center would like.

Just one problem: NBBJ was not chosen for the job, hence the images weren't legit.

Instead, the O’Dome bid went to Davis Architects, CPPI Construction Management and TLC Engineering, which held its first meetings with University of Florida and University Athletic Association officials this week. Together, they discussed the ambitous project that will be highlighted by a splashy new main entrance, premium club seating, new and more open concourses, new concession stands, renovations of all offices and locker rooms, chair-back seating throughout the arena, a center-hung scoreboard and replay screen, and updated infrastructure.

Davis Architects, a 102-year-old firm out of Birmingham, Ala., designed Auburn Arena, one of the most intimate and sight-line pleasing venues in the Southeastern Conference. The Tigers moved into their new building in 2010.

Here are some photos of that site.

Auburn Arena from above











Auburn Arena

Auburn Arena 2

Auburn Arena 3

Davis Architects also designed the football stadium at Alabama-Birmingham, the north end zone expansion at Alabama’s Bryant-Denny Stadium and the refurbishing of historic Rickwood Field, the nation’s oldest baseball park and home to the minor-league Birmingham Barons, having hosted the likes of Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Dizzy Dean and Satchell Page over the years.

Closer to home, however, Davis made one happy Gator out of Coach Rhonda Faehn, who along with everyone associated with her gymnastics program has done nothing but rave about the $4.5 million renovation done to the O'Dome gymnastics (below), home to Faehn and her two-time reigning NCAA champions.

Gymnastics Studio 1

Gym Studio 2

Studio 3










For a look at some of Davis Architects other projects, click on this link to the firm’s website.

Construction on the O’Connell Center is scheduled to begin in March 2015 and take approximately nine months. While the work is being done, the volleyball and the men’s and women’s basketball teams will play their home games at to-be-determined venues, including several dates around the state.

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