“Nothing But Net” for Henderson Engineers New Basketball Center
Henderson Engineers sought to provide the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury hoopsters with every edge in their quest for a championship.
“The owner's goal for this project was to build a world-class facility for the players but to do so while challenging training facility norms,” says Kelly Hyde, sports practice director and principal of Henderson Engineers. “Every idea was on the table if it provided players and personnel an enhanced experience. Being part of that creative process was both fun and rewarding.”
Their new Verizon 5G Performance Center at 5110 North 44th Street in the Arcadia neighborhood augments an aging training facility located in the basement of the arena that is now called Footprint Center in Downtown Phoenix. Design began in 2019, and the 52,000-square-foot center opened in late 2020 at a total cost of $45 million.
This project provides both of the Phoenix professional basketball teams with an offsite location separate from their downtown Phoenix arena for players to practice, train, and recover. Since the facility is near many of the players' residences, it also offers a gathering place closer to home. “With high-quality amenities such as a full weight room, two training/hydrotherapy facilities, a full chef-style kitchen, a player lounge, and gaming facilities, the center is truly a place where players can unwind,” Hyde says.
There was a strong desire from the ownership and architectural teams to produce a very high-end finish throughout so the project feels less like a working gym and more like a home. “Post-tension concrete slabs were therefore used to ensure clean surfaces,” Hyde says. “This challenged the status quo in that we were limited as to where we could penetrate the structure and where mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) systems could be visible. As such, a more customized approach to MEP systems and building integration had to be explored and implemented to allow the building systems to be nearly completely hidden in most locations throughout the facility.”
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This article originally appeared in the bimonthly Arizona Contractor & Community magazine, Jan/Feb 2023 issue, Vol. 12, No. 1.