WEB EXCLUSIVE: Restrooms Not Forgotten In Stadium Makeover

In a sports stadium, there are fewer high traffic areas than the restrooms. The stadium at Oklahoma State University (OSU) had been built in 1913, and the restroom facilities had suffered a great deal of wear and tear from continued use over the years. So when the university planned to renovate and expand its stadium several years ago, it was an opportunity to upgrade the restrooms with new bathroom partitions that would add functional and aesthetic value—and endure the high volume of traffic.

“Durability was of utmost importance when selecting a product for this application,” said David Reed of Sparks Reed Architecture & Interiors, the project architect for the OSU installation. “But due to the nature of the application we also wanted a product that would be low maintenance and resistant to abuse. It’s common knowledge that public bathroom facilities, particularly the stalls, are subjected to vandalism including scratches and dents and graffiti from rival or rowdy fans.”

More than 500 partitions would be installed in the stadium’s 40 restrooms. And with the number of partitions required for the project, a goal was to identify stalls made of materials that would be durable and not require a lot of maintenance. After considering multiple options, the project team specified Hiny Hiders from Scranton Products.

These partitions are made from premium, 1″ thick solid HDPE. The solid plastic material resists dents, scratches, corrosion, bacteria, graffiti, and mildew, and do not rust. This provided the stadium’s facility manager, Donald Clark, with a restroom installation that has a long life cycle.

Today, Clark observes that the Hiny Hiders partitions have proven to be low maintenance. “Our [previous] metal stalls rusted, needed painting, and graffiti was often a problem. Since [these stalls] were installed we’ve had virtually no maintenance issues in any of the restroom stalls. The most we’ve had to do is wash them down with a garden hose.”

“The bathroom partitions have really shown their durability while retaining their great looks,” he continues. “Every hinge, every latch, every hanger works as well today as it did three years ago.”

School spirit also became part of the project. To customize the restrooms for OSU, Reed took advantage of the various textures and colors available and specified the partitions be designed in the university’s school colors. In addition, the door of each stall was personalized with the OSU logo.

“Routing the logo into each door shows the workability of HDPE,” said Reed. “We were able to provide the university and the fans with a unique custom product for the new facility. The color is bright orange, and the logo supports college spirit and fan excitement.”

The wheels were set in motion on the multifaceted, multi year stadium project when OSU graduate Boone Pickens made the single largest gift in school history in 2003. His $70 million donation ($20 million of which was earmarked for stadium expansion) spurred a campaign that generated more than $100 million in gifts and pledges and involved more than 2,500 individuals, making it the single most successful campaign in OSU history.

Pickens capped the fundraising effort in 2005 with his gift of $165 million that not only benefits Cowboy football, but aids the development of an athletic village.