With 21 sports teams on campus, Shenandoah University wanted a building that embodies the Athletic Department’s motto “21 sports, one team” by serving the training and competition needs of all athletes. The new facility’s design uniquely accommodates the contrasting needs for both track and field events and indoor arena events into one compact, flexible space that contains a 200-meter indoor track and field competition surface, 1,300-seat stands and a court for basketball and volleyball games. Athletic support areas like an athletic training facility and locker space for indoor sports teams are also included. The university was able to realize significant cost savings by not having to build two separate facilities to meet varying needs.
In addition to athletic events, the facility provides large multi-functional space to host big events like graduation, concerts and speakers. Careful planning of the entire visitor experience also allowed for the new facility’s seamless connection to the existing football stadium and the development of a pedestrian plaza between the two facilities that pays homage to the university’s mascot, Buzzy the Hornet.
In keeping with the new architectural language that ESa helped establish for the campus with the Health & Life Sciences Building, the design contains Jeffersonian elements like red brick and white wood materials. With a visual presence along adjacent Interstate I-81, the building’s west façade highlights the architectural style of campus and creates a backdrop for major university signage and event banners. The north façade’s expansive use of glass allows axial views into the fieldhouse, on the roof of which the addition of a 1.5-acre solar array is currently planned.
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