Creating an Academic Home for Athletes

Ackerley Academic Center for Student Athletes

University of Washington

The University of Washington is dedicated to supporting student athletes to be as competitive academically as they are athletically. SRG renovated the former physical therapy center to create a vital academic resource for UW athletes. The open floor plan allows students to congregate and access a variety of educational services. Tutoring rooms, meeting spaces, and a computer lab are accessible from the corridor circling the interior perimeter, marked by the eye-catching gold and grey carpet. The academic center provides a comfortable and flexible environment for staff and students.


3,500 sf


Seattle, WA

Year Complete


Flexibility and Variety

The space needed to be flexible to accommodate a variety of uses for individuals, small groups, and large meetings, while being adaptable to the changing needs of student athletes, tutors, and permanent staff.

SRG understands that students thrive in a variety of environments. Some students need a loud and social area to engage in while they study, and others need solitude and quite. Our design accommodates a wide spectrum of study environments. The main entrance, featuring the bold W and purple dog tag reception desk, has a vivacious lounge perfect for teammates who need a high-energy zone to do their best work. The back entrance has a smaller reception desk and offers a quieter lounge area for teammates who need a tranquil space to inspire their study.

The computer lab has a bar height counter with computers for drop-in use, a printing station, as well as circular tables and dens for small group and private study areas. The furniture in the room can be moved aside to transform the room into an auditorium for large meetings.

There are 10 tutoring rooms that can be reserved and accommodate 4-6 people. The acoustical privacy was upgraded to maximize productivity.

Windows were added in the permanent staffing areas, so that individuals who are in the center all day have a comfortable working environment with access to natural light.

Integrated Interior Design

SRG’s interiors team worked with a branding and graphics consultant at an early stage in the design process, and the result is a cohesive environment for student athletes. SRG worked with the consultant to design spaces that highlight university graphics and branding. Detailed materials including a custom stain for wood fixtures, upholstery in spirited colors, and modern upgrades give students and staff a beautiful academic home replete with team pride.


Insider tip

Check out the banquettes framing the top of the dens in the computer lab. The W shape is referenced here as well as in several other details from the light fixtures to the carpet. How many can you find?