May 5, 2021Merryman’s Upgrade Makes Merry Men of Tech Football
The Virginia Tech Football strength and conditioning center has been transformed into a dynamic training area to meet the current and future needs of the program. This $4.5 million renovation and expansion project nearly doubled the functional workout space of the facility, located in the Merryman Center. The total square footage increased from approximately 6,900 square feet to over 12,300 square feet.
“Continued facilities upgrades like these are vital for our program to remain competitive,” head coach Justin Fuente said. “On behalf of our entire team and staff, we sincerely appreciate our generous donors who contributed to this project, as well as the purchase of new equipment to properly outfit the strength and conditioning center. These additions mark another positive step as we seek to improve the areas that impact and touch our student-athletes on a daily basis.”
The reimagined design of the strength and conditioning area takes better advantage of every inch of this expanded space. A custom-designed 24-rack system by Sorinex highlights the strength and conditioning center, which is filled with natural light from floor-to-ceiling glass that offers a panoramic view of the Steve Johnson Practice Fields and the Beamer-Lawson Practice Facility. A unique and expansive folding glass door allows direct access to the outdoor training area and practice fields for large groups of student-athletes. In addition, a built-in artificial turf surface (complete with hash marks) provides a perfect area for agility training.
“These improvements will help our staff bring out the full potential of our student-athletes,” Associate AD for Strength and Conditioning Ben Hilgart said. “The design of this facility was carefully conceived to maximize the training experience for our football team from the moment they enter to the instant they leave. I’m very grateful to our donors who made this possible, as well as the team from Sorinex who helped transform our vision of how this space and equipment should function into a reality.”
The relocation of the strength and conditioning offices presented an opportunity to create a smartly conceived refueling station operated by the Tech sports nutrition staff, marking another much-needed addition to the football training area. With plenty of space for a team of dieticians and sports nutrition staffers to prepare custom recovery shakes and healthy snacks, this area also features multiple refrigeration units for storage, as well as easy-access fridges for student-athletes to grab food to go. Another custom cooler is constantly filled with various recovery beverages and plenty of bottled water.
During the 2020 season, the team began utilizing nine new position meeting rooms. These individual meeting rooms feature a fully integrated audio/visual system that allows various groups to watch presentations from the existing team meeting room was a generous gift from Tech Football alum and opened in September 2017. That connectivity proved vital for the Hokies in 2020 as social distancing mandated that 100-plus individuals that would normally fill the team meeting room could be spread into 10 different locations.
The nine position meeting rooms feature the same oversized seating as the team meeting room, with plaques honoring Tech’s past all-conference performers for that unit adorning each group’s space. In addition, hero-sized graphics of some of the Hokies’ greatest all-time performers at that position complete the imagery of each meeting room.