Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer places an emphasis on special teams. It only makes sense then that the school's planned $18 million indoor practice facility next to Lane Stadium reflects that.
Fred Ortiz, an architect from HKS Sports who designed the new Indoor Athletic Training Facility, told SI.com that most football facilities have an indoor clearance of 65 feet. At Virginia Tech, Ortiz went to 85 feet.
“As we all know, coach Beamer has a focus on special teams and he will be able to do that indoors,” Ortiz said.
The school plans to break ground on the new 92,000-square-foot venue later this month and have it open in July 2015. It will be 400 feet long by 210 feet wide -- dimensions that allow “ample room along the sidelines and end zones." Inside, observation platforms at both 20 and 65 feet above field level will offer differing perspectives for coaches.
Ortiz said he studied Virginia Tech’s collegiate Gothic architecture and created a building respectful of that. The “more poetic design concept” was using the eight structural pylons as part of both an architectural design and a tie to campus heritage.
Tim Newcomb covers stadiums, design and gear for Sports Illustrated. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.