Renovation Plan

The renovation of the new UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse will create a consolidated, total performance center that will impact every Duquesne student-athlete.


Getting in Position

We have lofty aspirations.

Duquesne Athletics continues to fund a broad-based sports program focused on academic and competitive excellence. Central to that is ensuring Duquesne Athletics continues to develop into a stronger brand locally, regionally and nationally while also providing a first class, DI student-athlete experience and building championship contenders within the Atlantic 10 and Northeast Conferences.

Our strategic plan is centered around four pillars:

The academic mission is primary. We will graduate student-athletes and strive to be the top of the conference.


We will do things right. Staff, coaches and student-athletes will conduct themselves in a professional manner and we'll work to provide an authentic DI experience to all student-athletes.

Competitive Success

We will attract and retain top-performing coaches, staff and student-athletes to consistently elevate our performance on the field, court, track and in the pool.

Programmatic &
Community Engagement

We will ensure every team is authentically engaged in the greater Pittsburgh and campus community.

The facility, as well as the new programming to happen within it, fully aligns with the department’s strategic plan for success.

Goals Building for Success

The primary objective of the renovation was to reimagine a space that would transform the entire student-athlete experience. From competition to classroom, this is as one-time opportunity to truly reinvent and modernize how Duquesne Athletics looks, feels, acts and performs. Specifically, the project sets out to:

  • Create a comprehensive athletics facilities plan that impacts all teams and centralizes the athletics department.
  • Develop an academic and leadership training center.
  • Serve the entire campus population by creating indoor programming space not previously available.
  • Provide more space and opportunities for community engagement, particularly within the Uptown neighborhood.
  • Upgrade the existing plaza and external facade of the facility.

Impact A New Red & Blue

The renovation project will result in the complete transformation of the facility. And the impact is far reaching. From a face-lift to elevating student-athlete performance to engaging the greater campus and Uptown communities, the new UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse will not only affect every aspect of the student-athlete experience, but also provide an opportunity to serve as a center for community engagement, events and activities.

  • Modernized external façade that provides a more impactful look and engages the building as a major thoroughfare within the city.
  • Modernized facilities to place Duquesne Athletics on par with its conference peers.
  • Increased square footage to the current building to fully optimize the space.
  • Creation of an all-weather practice venue which will allow student-athletes to train throughout the year.
  • Addition of new club and suite levels, upgraded concessions, fan corners and a concourse hall of fame.


The new facility will consolidate all sports performance activities into an expanded central facility, five times the current space, and allow student-athletes to compete and train at a high-level.

Key upgrades include:

  • Expansion of the athletics training space allowing more athletes to train in the same space as well as the opportunity to create personalized fitness plans.
  • A new sports nutrition bar to fuel the Dukes.
  • A state-of-the-art sports medicine and rehabilitation center.


Academically, we aspire to be at the top of the conference. In addition to achieving academic success and hitting key markers, we also want our student-athletes to become distinguished graduates with clearly defined path-ways. The new Gilliand Center for Academic Success will provide a one-stop location for all academic needs. The following will be housed or programmed within this area:

  • In cooperation with PNC, the department will establish the PNC Leadership Academy. The comprehensive programming pillars will focus learning in the areas of servant leadership, career pathways, winning habits and inspiring and impacting others.
  • The Fr. Sean Hogan Lecture Hall which seats 150 people.
  • Centralized offices for all academic advisors and the learning specialists.
  • An academic commons which includes expanded study hall space and additional meeting spaces.
  • Upgraded technology and infrastructure to assist in regional economic development through the hosting of meetings, conventions and events.
  • The creation of the PNC Leadership Academy that seeks to:
    • Provide comprehensive programming for student-athletes to be successful at Duquesne and in their transition into life after college.
    • Build opportunities for career mentorship.
    • Bring in subject matter experts to provide programming in financial literacy, life skills, leadership, career development and community engagement.
    • Strategic collaboration with PNC Grow Up Great programming.
  • Student-athletes, coaches and staff led health, wellness and education programming, connecting Duquesne Athletics to the greater Pittsburgh community.

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