Skip Main Links
Northern Arizona University Student-Athlete High Performance Center

Capitalizing on High Altitude Training


Student-Athlete High Performance Center

Project Location

Flagstaff, AZ


72,000 SF


$47 million

Designed to attract top student-athletes to Northern Arizona University, the Student-Athlete High Performance Center focuses on the wellness and development of all NAU student-athletes, while also providing valuable educational and recruitment opportunities.

Nestled into a hillside filled with ponderosa pines and views of Humphreys Peak, the state-of-the-art training facility welcomes all Lumberjack student-athletes. The three-story, 72,000 SF building features a new weight room, sports medicine, academic center, basketball practice courts, team meeting rooms, locker rooms, and a Lumberjacks Hall of Fame.

High Altitude Excellence

We took advantage of the majestic campus setting and designed the facility to fit within its natural landscape. Nestled into a hillside filled with ponderosa pines and views of Humphreys Peak, this training facility welcomes all Lumberjack student-athletes, allowing them to maximize their performance.

Canopy Entry

A Walk Amongst the Trees

The trees and nearby mountain range are strong elements of the NAU Lumberjack brand, and the design team expertly captured this culture and identity throughout the design of the facility.

angular white paneled exterior canopy over glass facade with glass doors leading onto concrete plaza lined with wire railing

Entering the building is an experience all its own, with a 140-foot pedestrian bridge that puts users at the canopy level of the ponderosa pines and leaves as much of the site untouched as possible.

Unobstructed Views

Best Training Perspective in the Country

Sited to the east of the J. Lawrence Walkup Skydome, this project orients itself on two major elements: the new state-of-the-art practice fields and the distinct mountain ranges. We focused on creating indoor-outdoor connections in as many locations throughout the facility as possible.

auditorium with square and triangular acoustic panels and glass wall view of playing field, pine trees, and mountain range

Above the tree line with unobstructed views of the 12,600-foot Humphreys Peak and San Francisco Range, the team auditorium features one of the most captivating views of any training facility in the country.

Honoring Lumberjacks

Celebrating Success On and Off Field of Play

Designed to recruit and retain student-athletes, the Grand Hall creates unique experiences to reinforce the brand of NAU Athletics. Designers looked for unique ways to strengthen that culture and identity while honoring Lumberjacks. The space honors success on and off the field, recognizes donors, and highlights championships.

entry hall with glass and gray wall, trophy display on wood plinth. graphics in faux bois print and text spells lumber jacks

The 3,000-SF Grand Hall is open to the public and allows visitors to experience NAU Athletic success.

Academic Success

Commitment to Success on the Field starts in the Classroom

The academic area provides a centralized location for all Lumberjack student-athletes to study and meet with academic advisors. The center provides several study options including an open lounge, private seating nooks, and flexible meeting rooms. Prominently featured throughout the space are numerous branded academic success installations.

Team Lounge

A Place to Relax

Like nearly all spaces within the Student-Athlete High Performance Center, the team lounge connects to dynamic views of campus and the mountains beyond. The lounge provides a place for Lumberjacks to hang out and relax, build relationships, and engage in friendly competition between classes, training, and team meetings.

blue carpet, white and glass walls, a black ceiling and pendant lights with geometric upholstered chair and blue leather sofas

The different activity zones of the lounge encourage student-athletes to use the space in different ways.


Championships Start Here

The strength and training spaces connect to the outdoors and are large enough to accommodate multiple teams at the same time. The weight room is more than double the size of the previous and has a direct physical connection to the practice field. Perhaps the most unique feature is the altitude training chamber which overlooks the weight room and happens to be the largest of its kind on a collegiate campus. Adjacent to the weight room, the sports medicine area features dedicated rehab space and three hydrotherapy pools.

Featured Video
Inside NAU’s Student-Athlete High Performance Center

Explore the facility’s impressive features that offer a glimpse into Lumberjack athletics. Inspired by the majestic mountains and serene Ponderosa Pines, the building embodies the uniqueness of NAU and its natural surroundings.


Northern Arizona University NAU student athlete center, elevated walkway with metal railings leading to white paneled wrap facade
NAU Student Athlete High Performance Center in Flagstaff, AZ Photo by Matt Winquist


2022 AIA Design Excellence Award

December 22, 2022

Northern Arizona University Student – Athlete High Performance Center was recognized by the American Institute of Architects Kansas City chapter with a Merit Award for Architecture.

Read More

Contact Us

Contact Us

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.