May 28, 2015

The Virginia Military Institute’s (VMI) mission is to provide the physical training facilities necessary to prepare cadets as model “citizen-soldiers.” 

The HKS-designed Virginia Military Institute Corps Physical Training Facility in Lexington, Virginia — slated to open in fall 2016 — is underway to accomplish this key objective. 

The project received a Merit Award for Excellence in Architecture from the AIA Richmond Chapter. The award was presented on April 16 at the McGlothlin Medical Education Center at the Virginia Commonwealth University Campus in Richmond. 

“This new indoor training facility — the first of its kind in terms of scale and magnitude on any military post — is designed to elevate a cadet’s level of physical fitness,” said Fred Ortiz, associate principal/senior designer with HKS Architects. “It will support the comprehensive physical training required for all cadets, ensuring training can be programmed in all weather and all seasons every day.” 

The 205,000-square-foot Corps Physical Training Facility includes six key components: an indoor climbing wall, Virginia Fitness Training (VFT), a high ropes course, an indoor physical obstacle course, physical readiness and combat readiness training, and a challenge initiatives course (CIC). Other program elements include a 200-meter track with hydraulic banking, an elevated three-lane track, a weight and cardio training room, and locker rooms. 

“As a continuation of the Institute’s Alexander Jackson Davis gothic revival style, the Corps’ new Physical Fitness Training Facility embraces the medieval design context, with sensitivity of scale and placement on the site relative to the neighboring residential and downtown community,” said Ortiz. “Portrayal of the architectural aesthetic is conveyed on a wide range of scales. The integration of a large volume, select materials and craftsmanship will provide an impression of permanence, strength and durability.” 

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 Multi-Purpose Stadium, AT&T Stadium, Lucas Oil Stadium, Miller Park and major renovations/additions for U.S. Cellular Field and Dodger Stadium. In addition to the Virginia Military Institute Corps Physical Training Facility, HKS’ training facility experience includes the U.S. Naval Academy Wesley Brown Fieldhouse and the Virginia Tech Indoor Training Facilities. 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 five architectural and engineering firms, according to Building Design+Construction magazine, and operates from 26 worldwide offices. For more information, contact Trish Martineck at

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Tagged Fred Ortiz, Military Institute Corps Physical Training Facility, sports architecture, training facilities, Virginia Military Institute