The Catholic University of America


Athletic and Recreation Master Plan Advisory Services

The Catholic University of America chose Brailsford & Dunlavey in August 2016 to develop a framework plan for its recreation and athletics facilities. The desired plan, while similar to a master plan, called for less emphasis on graphic imagery and more on implementation of a coherent program of projects to be completed over time. The stated goal was to allow a campus tour guide, in the future, to introduce a group of visitors to the recreation and athletic facilities and for those buildings to be in perfect alignment with the university’s purpose, mission, and values.

Most important, the plan was to be designed to support implementation activity in the context of uncertainty and, therefore, was to be grounded in principles and standards but flexible with respect to tactics. It was also designed to be used regularly by the decision-makers and multiple parties who play a material role in the process of developing the university’s strategic assets, and not to be just a wish list.

B&D conducted several strategic planning sessions with key administrators to identify appropriate programming in support of Catholic’s mission and vision for its varsity athletics and recreation program. Using feedback from these stakeholders, B&D created a plan to consolidate the athletics and recreation complex to implement a transformative space for the entire campus community. B&D’s strategy for this plan was to identify, describe, and establish facility investment budgets to support the needs of each of the university’s current and proposed varsity teams, sport clubs, intramural leagues, and drop-in recreation fitness facilities. The completed project included a land-use plan, project programs, detailed budgets, and implementation schedules. In all, 10 discrete capital improvement projects comprised the plan, including―in part―a new recreation facility, baseball and softball fields, tennis courts, and a field house and club house.

B&D’s plan created a schedule for each desired facility that included the amount of time each project was likely to need for implementation after it was approved and funded. The final plan also outlined the steps required for implementation of each facility along with typical time-frames needed for the processes to be completed, given the project’s complexity and delivery method.