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Principal Chris Sgarzi Discusses Campus Athletics Master Planning at UT Austin

The D.1 ticker interviewed Sasaki principal Chris Sgarzi and University of Texas’s Chief of Staff and Executive Senior Associate AD, Chris Plonsky about lessons learned from developing a master plan for the University of Texas at Austin.

Sasaki’s master planning work at the University of Texas at Austin identifies how to invest in the campus intelligently and consistently, and highlights opportunities to further academic and research excellence in support of the university’s mission.

In their conversation with the D.1 ticker, Sgarzi and Plonsky discuss the collaboration between athletics and the institution, trends in facility master planning, the emphasis on maximizing the student-athlete experience, public-private partnerships and more.

Throughout the discussion, Sgarzi answers questions like:

  • What are the initial conversations when embarking on the facilities master planning process?
  • When it comes to data collection, do you place an emphasis on anything in particular? 
  • What are the trends you’re seeing in college athletics planning?
  • How does sustainability fit into the planning process?

When discussing campus planning trends Sasaki has seen over the last few decades, Sgarzi remarked that “we’re seeing a greater desire to integrate students into the campus. For a while, there was a trend towards wanting to create the biggest and best facilities, and that often pushed them to the perimeter of campuses, further isolating them. Now we’re seeing more of a desire to make athletics a part of campus, and that having a little bit of transparency is not a bad thing. Transparency allows people to appreciate the work ethic of the student athletes, see that they’re a part of campus, and want to support them.”

Watch the complete conversation:

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