The Dodie: What's in there

January 31, 2010 

A look inside USC's Dodie Anderson Academic Enrichment Center, aka "The Dodie," which will be dedicated at 2 p.m. Wednesday (speeches by USC president Harris Pastides, athletics director Eric Hyman and several coaches):

FIRST FLOOR

A 100-foot-wide courtyard, built to echo the landscaping on USC's Horsehoe, fronts the two-story, glass atrium lobby entrance. Inside, a reception desk stands in front of a glass wall etched with a Gamecock feathers graphic. The lobby area has seating for visitors. On one wall is a plaque honoring donor Dodie Anderson of Greer, with a 5-foot, stainless steel Gamecock hanging above the plaque.

Also behind the glass wall is USC's Hall of Academic Excellence, honoring Academic All-Americans and All-SEC winners and trimmed in mahogany and black granite. Stainless-steel plaques and interactive video displays honor current and past winners and their accomplishments.

An elevator lobby to the right - which features a curved interior wall that "reflect(s) the dynamic motion of sports," architect Derek Gruner said, as well as a 20-foot-by-8-foot mural of the Horseshoe - leads to the 2,650-square-foot cafeteria, which can seat 200 diners.

The dining area also has projection monitors and three drop screens for video sessions, plus two LCD TV screens on the walls. Sliding partitions can divide the room in half, seating 300-400 for meetings and lectures. The dining area's south wall is glass with a view of Williams-Brice Stadium.

Behind the dining room (west end) is a 1,300-square-foot serving area, plus kitchen, cleanup and storage areas. A small computer room with 14 stations, plus two seminar rooms, an office, nutritionist Jenny Hill's office and a tutorial room are located on the south wall, just off the Hall of Academic Excellence and gallery areas.

SECOND FLOOR

Passing a TV monitor that shows students' schedules, an open "monumental" staircase from the lobby leads up to the "small study lounge," a 1,500-square-foot area off the second-story atrium area with soft seating and views of Williams-Brice, soccer's Stone Stadium and USC's south campus.

The floor's curving elevator lobby leads to the floor's primary work areas, featuring 16 10-foot-by-12-foot tutorial rooms, six 10-by-18 seminar rooms (each can accommodate eight-12 people) and one 20-by-18 seminar room that can be divided into two, plus five offices. About two-thirds of the spaces feature either exterior views or glass-brick walls for light and airiness.

Corridors and doorways were designed wider and taller (10-foot ceilings) with athletes in mind. "Football players can walk two-abreast up any of the stairways," Gruner said. A student lounge is across from restrooms.

On the south wall near the study area is the "small computer room," a 750-square-foot area with 30 computer work stations and featuring large-window views of the football stadium.

THIRD FLOOR

Positioned atop the second-floor study and atrium, the 2,400-square-foot "large study lounge" dominates this floor's east side and features tables, desks, soft seating, plus glass-wall views of the outside and 20-foot ceilings, the building's tallest. A reception desk near the entrance offers a view of the entire study area. A drop screen projector also is available for use.

Beyond the elevator lobby, in the floor's midsection, is the 1,400-square-foot "large computer room," with 25 in-wall computer stations and 35 work stations at tables. The room also features a drop screen and ceiling projectors.

Twenty offices, most of them 10 feet by 14 feet with 10-foot floor-to-ceiling windows, are on this floor. Director of academics and life skills Raymond Harrison's 320-square-foot office sits on the floor's southwest corner, with views of the football and soccer stadiums.

A 280-square-foot conference room adjoins Harrison's office, and the staff lounge is across the hallway. Three tutorial rooms, two seminar rooms and bathrooms are located between the computer room and large study.

TOTALS: 20 tutorial rooms, 16 seminar-room equivalents, 105 computer stations. Cost: $9.6 million for the building. Furnishings, computers, fees and site work brought the total to $13.5 million.

- Bob Gillespie

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