SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Continuing the strategic shift within the Santa Clara University Department of Athletics, the school will soon unveil a dramatic new basketball and volleyball playing surface in the Leavey Center.
The playing surface will feature a large stain painting of a photograph of the University's iconic Mission Church. Tinker Hatfield, Nike's vice president for design and special projects, created the image, which also incorporates recently unveiled athletics marks. The design, which is currently underway, is believed to be the first of its kind. No known playing surface incorporates an image of a campus building in its design.
"We are excited to utilize the Mission Church, the cornerstone of the landscape of our beautiful campus," director of athletics Renee Baumgartner said. "As the most identifiable feature on campus it will help bring even more visibility to our University, a goal of the university's integrated strategic plan, Santa Clara 2020."
Hatfield is best known as the designer of the famed Air Jordan and other signature shoes.
"It struck me as I got to know Santa Clara University that having the Mission Church as the centerpiece of this thriving and growing university is the perfect metaphor," Hatfield said. "Santa Clara University is more than just an education."
The new floor is part of a series of changes to reinvigorate the Bronco Athletics program.
"I think it's a very unique floor and a continuation of all the changes that are happening in Santa Clara athletics," Santa Clara guard Jared Brownridge said. "We are shifting the culture in a good way."
The new playing surface is being funded by private donations. Construction began in March and is expected to be completed in early June.
Santa Clara University Operations is managing the project, including scheduling a wide variety of outside contractors. The Mission painting is being applied through a series of layers of stain in different colors, followed by layers of varnish. H.Y. Floor and Gameline Painting, and Praters Flooring are the vendors working on the installation and painting.
Timber Products Company and Michigan Harwood Lumber Division provided maple hardwood lumber certified by Sustainable Forestry Initiative.
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