WATTS the award?


Track and field athletes use the Watson and Tressel Training Site on Monday. The WATTS was recently awarded two ACEC Engineering Excellence Awards for energy and building/technology. Photo by Marissa McIntyre/The Jambar.

The American Council of Engineering Companies of Ohio has recognized Youngstown State University’s Watson and Tressel Training Site for its unique design.

The WATTS received ACEC 2013 Engineering Excellence Awards in energy and in building/technology systems.

The training center is 125,000 square feet, and includes indoor football facilities, a 300-meter track, long jump and high jump pits, batting cages, a putting green and locker rooms.

The ACEC of Ohio is a nonprofit association comprised of engineering firms that provide professional services across the state.

Donald Mader, executive director of ACEC of Ohio, said the ACEC gives one Grand Award, then gives second- and third-tier awards. The WATTS received a third-tier award.

This year, 29 projects were submitted to the Engineering Excellence Awards program; all 29 received an award.

Mader acknowledged the WATTS’ energy efficiency.

“The judges were impressed, first and foremost, by the fact that the [WATTS] building is very efficient,” Mader said. “It is built according to sustainable design criteria.”

John Hyden, executive director of facilities at YSU, said he is pleased with the positive attention that the WATTS has received.

“This facility has been operationally very successful and has garnered the attention of a broad spectrum from athletes and architects through administrators and politicians. It is truly an impressive facility,” Hyden said.

MS Consultants, Inc. provided design services and construction administration for the WATTS. Anthony Hayek, vice president of architecture at MS Consultants, Inc., served as director of the WATTS project.

Hayek said the WATTS employs energy-efficient glass, recycled building materials and an under-floor hydronic heating system.

Hayek said MS Consultants, Inc. is happy to work with YSU.

“We’ve done a lot of work with the university. Our company has a lot of employees that went to YSU,” Hayek said. “We are big advocates of the university.”

Hyden noted that despite its size, the WATTS remains pleasing to the eye.

“I expect that the building component [of the ACEC award] was due to the efforts to design what is essentially a big barn in an aesthetically pleasing fashion,” Hyden said.

In addition to the ACEC awards, the WATTS has received honors in the past. Last year, the building achieved LEED Silver Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for its design and sustainability. In addition, the WATTS was featured on the front cover of College Planning & Management magazine in December.

“We are quite pleased with the [ACEC awards], and we have received a lot of national recognition for the WATTS,” Hayek said.