McMillan Pazdan Smith provided design services for the Rock Hill Sports & Event Center for collegiate, high school, and community sport participation in Rock Hill, SC. The facility includes approximately 151,000 SF, 16 volleyball courts, 8 high school sized basketball courts, and a 1,200-seat arena with NCAA-sized basketball court. The volleyball courts also provide the NCAA-recommended 41-foot clear height above the playing surface (much higher than the average court’s 26-foot clear height).
The sports complex is part of the University Center at Knowledge Park adjacent to Winthrop University. It is part of a larger 23-acre development that will pay homage to the textile mill town’s history. An important goal was to blend the existing historic mill architecture with modern design elements. Renovating the 1939 bleachery, chosen exterior materials include red brick masonry and industrial metal panels — while inside, interior finishes consist of natural hardwood floors, stained concrete, rubber flooring, and oversized experiential sports graphics.
The athletics venue provides a much-needed communal space for sports events and tourism. University Center will also contain retail, food vendors, restaurants, apartments, a hotel, and outdoor entertainment areas. The grand opening scheduled for Spring 2020 has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.