WINCHESTER, VIRGINIA (April 28, 2016) — Shenandoah University’s Board of Trustees has approved plans for a new, 77,000-square-foot indoor athletic center for the university’s 21 sports teams.
Located next to Shentel Stadium, the student-first facility will benefit each of the university’s 480 student-athletes and move Shenandoah into the top tier of indoor athletic facilities in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference.
“This new athletics and events center will be transformational for Shenandoah University,” said President Tracy Fitzsimmons, Ph.D. “It’s going to impact our recruiting, our retention of students, the success of our students, and most specifically our student-athletes.”
The facility will include 63,000-square-feet of multipurpose fieldhouse space designed for varsity competition and practice, with retractable seating for 1,600. The new building meets all NCAA competition specifications for indoor track, basketball and volleyball, and features a wooden basketball court. It includes a 200-meter, six-lane competition track with eight sprint lanes and throwing cages, sand pit and pole vaulting areas.
“Our priorities, from a design standpoint and a university standpoint, were to allow as many student-athletes an opportunity to use this facility as possible; to enhance the student-athlete experience; to impact the campus and community; and to take advantage of public visibility from Interstate 81, which is about 60,000 views,” said Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Doug Zipp. “So as people drive by every day, they know where Shenandoah University is located.”
The university envisions that this facility will also be available for community use, and as a large events space it will seat approximately 5,000 theatre-style or nearly 1,000 for a sit-down dinner.
“This is the kind of facility that impacts everyone in the Northern Shenandoah Valley,” said Dr. Fitzsimmons. “It includes college students, but it has an impact on elementary school students. It includes people who work in athletics and those who enjoy watching athletics. It includes those who want to come and hear a major speaker or a concert, but up to now, we have had no place to house such major events. This will be good for the city and the county. It will be good for all the schools and local sports teams. This is a building of which we can all be proud.”
The facility will be constructed by Howard Shockey & Sons Inc. and is designed by Earl Swensson Associates (ESa) of Nashville, Tennessee. This team also designed and built the university’s award-winning Health & Life Sciences Building, which opened in fall 2014.