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A Color Catch for New HS Stadium

Monday, December 24, 2012

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An Iowa couple has donated $3 million to their son's high school for a new football stadium—with one colorful caveat.

The visiting teams' locker room must be painted pink.

The Bondurant-Farrar School District in Bondurant, IA, accepted the donation—pink paint and all—from Brian and Mary Lohse on Dec. 17. The couple recently won a $202 million Powerball jackpot, reports say.

pink locker room
Wikimedia Commons

The color request was inspired by the visiting teams' locker room at the University of Iowa's Kinnick Stadium. The room has been pretty in pink since 1978.

“I was sort of half-joking and half-not, I suppose, but they said they’d do it,” Mary Lohse told the Des Moines Register. She said the idea had been inspired by the University of Iowa visitor's locker room of the same color.

"It's supposed to put them in a certain soft frame of mind," she said, adding: "It will certainly give all the players something to talk about."

Urinals of 'Dusty Rose'

Walls, floors and lockers in University of Iowa's Kinnick Stadium are adorned in a shade of pink called Innocence. Urinals are painted Dusty Rose, reports say.

Former Hawkeyes head coach Hayden Fry has been called the interior decorating mastermind behind painting the locker room pink in 1978.

Fry,  who had been a psychology major at Baylor University, had the room painted pink in the hope that it would cause an opponent to lose focus, according to reports. 

Fry also believed the shade would put opponents in a passive mood, reports said.

But in a 2010 interview, Fry indicated another reason behind the bubblegum hue.

"Frankly, the only color paint we could find at the stadium was pink," said Fry, who coached the team until 1998.

Renovation Sparks Protest

In a $88 million renovation in 2005, the pleased-with-pink Iowa athletic department added the color to the shower floors, carpet, sinks, toilets and urinals. The makeover was met with some criticism from university faculty.

A law professor told various media that the color scheme "promoted sexism and homophobia by attempting to emasculate opponents."

However, to date, the locker room remains pink. And now, teams facing Bondurant Farrar's Blue Jays will share the pink experience, thanks to the Lohses.

Coming Soon

There was another catch to the couple's donation.

The Lohses want the stadium completed before the fall of the 2014 football season. Their oldest son, now a sophomore on the football team, is scheduled to graduate in spring 2015, reports said.

The completion date may not be an issue as plans are charging ahead, reports say. SVPA Architects, of Des Moines, is the firm charged with designing the facility.

The Bondurant-Farrar School Board said the Lohses' donation will free up funding to accelerate other capital projects, including a new academic wing and fine-arts auditorium, according to reports.

The Lohses do not wish the stadium to bear their name and hope that other members of the commuity will make contributions.


Tagged categories: Color; Color selection; Design; Stadiums/Sports Facilities

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