College of Charleston
College of CharlestonCharleston, S.C. 2011
Carolina First Arena represents a renovation of and addition to the existing Johnson Center, providing a new home for the College of Charleston’s basketball and volleyball programs. The 44,960 square feet of renovation provides space for a training facility and a practice court, as well as new racquetball courts, two classrooms and an exercise deck for the physical education department. The most distinct feature of the building is the intimacy of the arena bowl. The close proximity of the seating to the floor, the creation of an upper bowl in a relatively small venue and the use of an open concourse combine to provide a unique fan experience.
Interior finishing includes the painting of all raw vertical concrete surfaces and a high-performance coating for the concourse floor. The color scheme reflects the school’s trademark maroon and gold. Large areas of glass introduce natural light into the entrance lobby and concourse, while providing a visual connection to pedestrians outside.
The entire building was set back from the street to preserve the scale of the historic brick screen wall and adjacent building, while the arched roof’s trussed structure and exposed wood convey the image of a field house. Exterior fenestration patterns and the brick veneer were taken from historic commercial buildings in downtown Charleston.
Project DetailsArchitect: Betsch Associates Inc.; Greenville, S.C.
Seating Capacity: 5,000
Construction Cost: $41.9 million
Square Feet: 44,960
Occupancy: June 2009
Arena Seating: Track Seating
Basketball: Aacer Flooring
Basketball Backboards/Supports: Spalding
Bleachers/Grandstands: Kodiak Industries
Court Panels/Glass Walls: The Court Company
Flooring: Dal-Tile Corp.
Folding Chairs: Spec Seats International
Hydrotherapy Tanks: HydroWorx International Inc.
Lighting: Hubbell Lighting Inc.
Lockers: Penco Products Inc.
Multipurpose: Connor Sport Court
Racquetball/Squash Courts: The Court Company
Scoreboards/Timing Systems: CBS Outdoor
Shower/Toilet Partitions: Scranton Products
Sound Systems: Sound Com Corp.
Taping/Treatment Tables: Housmann
Volleyball: Aacer Flooring
Wall Padding: Conwed Design Scape