August 17, 2015

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) previewed its newly completed Indoor Athletic Training Facility (IATF) on August 15. Media and guests took a first look at the $18 million, 92,000-square-foot building, the latest addition to Virginia Tech’s sports facilities. 

“Former Virginia Tech Athletic Director Jim Weaver was the champion of the project and Hokie Football Coach Frank Beamer inspired the design,” said Fred Ortiz, associate principal with HKS Sports & Entertainment Group and the lead designer on the project.  

He explained at the Saturday event, “During a speech to the Richmond Hokie Club, Beamer made a connection to the university’s core values – inscribed on the pylons at Memorial Court above the War Memorial Chapel – as a device intended to motivate and inspire the football team. At team meals and before and after practice, the team would recite the following: Brotherhood, Leadership, Loyalty, Ut Prosim (the university motto: “That I May Serve"), Service, Sacrifice, Honor and Duty.”  Pylons with the values are primary supports for IATF’s large barrel-vaulted roof, and serve as a daily reminder to student athletes as to why they are here and their role in the community. 

“This large training facility had to fit, not only its immediate context, but also with the collegiate gothic-style buildings on campus, “Ortiz added. Neighbors Cassell Coliseum and Merryman Center inspire the barrel-vaulted roof form, and column support details mimic Lane Stadium. 

Functional requirements for the facility included over 200,000 square feet (210 feet x 400 feet) of flexible training space, appropriate run-off clearances and padded walls for safety, 85-foot high clearance to accommodate special teams practice, high bay sports lighting and platforms at 20-foot and 60-foot heights allow for coaches and videographers to work both inside and out. Six garage doors allow a larger training area and ease of access, and a large translucent wall provides ambient light, minimizing the use of power to illuminate the space. 

“To give you an idea of the scale of this facility, the White House can actually fit within this huge volume,” Ortiz said. The entire design-build team, including partners at W. M. Jordan Company, are quite proud of this accomplishment.”

The HKS Sports & Entertainment Group, ranked as one of the top sports and entertainment designers by BD World Architecture, has ushered in a new generation of multi-revenue-generating, world-class facilities. The group’s portfolio includes Minnesota Multipurpose Stadium, Cowboys Stadium, Lucas Oil Stadium, U.S. Naval Academy Wesley Brown Fieldhouse and Virginia Military Institute Corp Physical Training Facility. These venues are known for enhancing and leveraging team brand, delivering an enhanced fan experience, and serving as destination environments. HKS is ranked among the top six architectural engineering firms, according to Building Design+Construction magazine, and operates from 27 offices.

For more information, contact Trish Martineck at

Posted in Sports & Entertainment
Tagged Fred Ortiz, Hokie Football Coach Frank Beamer, Indoor Athletic Training Facility, Virginia Tech, Virginia Tech Indoor Athletic Training Facility