A Spring Tour of Wake Forest

05/02/16

I recently took a couple on a tour of the Reynolda Campus on a beautiful spring day. The campus was bustling with activity. I have stated many times that our campus is in the process of a magnificent transformation. There are so many new places to visit and things to see at Dear Old Wake Forest.

We started the tour walking through the Manchester Athletic Center where the old McCreary Weight Room is fully under construction to be the new home of the Sarge Tina Equipment Room from Reynolds Gym, where it has called home for over 50 years. The move is clearing space for the transformation of historic Reynolds Gym into a state-of-the-art Health and Wellness facility for all students.

As we moved to the Miller Center, we walked through the Student-Athlete Services area and ran into one of my favorite student-athletes, Ryan Janvion, who was just named a captain of the football team for an unprecedented third year. Our walk through the Miller Center yielded a glimpse into the life of a Wake Forest student-athlete. There were easily over 50 student-athletes studying—some alone and some with the help of tutors—and all focused on their studies.

    Interior view of the new McCreary Field House.

Our walk then led us to the new McCreary Field House, which is awe-inspiring. The 120-yard indoor practice field with a temporary strength and conditioning area for football is always in use and is a megastructure that somehow fits purposefully on campus. In front of McCreary Field House, the old Doc Martin Practice Fields are undergoing a total renovation. New turf and grass fields are being installed in time for the upcoming season. The final product will be a beautiful new turf and grass field that connects to McCreary Field House.

A short walk up the hill led us to the Arnold Palmer Golf Complex. A brand new paved drive leads you through the woods until you reach the statue of Arnold Palmer—Arnold’s physique and his powerful swing from his prime are on full display. This statue will undoubtedly be one of the most photographed spots on campus. Sitting behind is the Haddock House, which serves as the new home of men’s and women’s golf. One could spend hours in the Haddock House as an interactive display takes you through the stellar history of Wake Forest golf. The impressive display of trophies and graphics leaves one inspired by the tradition of our golf program. I can honestly say the back patio of the Haddock House is one of my favorites spots in Winston-Salem as it overlooks the Haas Family Range and its collection of putting greens, bunkers, target greens, tee boxes and fairways.

After leaving the Arnold Palmer Golf Complex, we passed by a new dorm that is being built across from the Doc Martin Practice Fields. Our tour passed in front of the new Reynolds Gym transformation project, where bricks are being removed from the massive arches. The brick will be replaced by glass and open up this space to light. An example of the final product of the arch portion of the project is seen with the new Sutton Center addition. The Sutton Center now connects to Reynolds Gym and occupies the space of the old Leighton Tennis Courts. It consists of two new gyms and a new home for the Outdoor Pursuits program. Also contained in the Sutton Center is a temporary home for Olympic sport strength and conditioning until the Sports Performance Center phase is completed.

Outside view of the new Haddock House.

Any tour to campus is not complete without walking through Farrell Hall, home of the School of Business. The main living room in this incredible facility is jaw-dropping. There is no question that Farrell Hall is one of the finest academic buildings in the country. We finished the tour at the North Dining Hall for lunch at Bistro 1834, which is a wonderful sit-down dining option on campus. The North Dining Hall houses many options of food including a Starbucks.

As we debriefed our tour it was evident that our Reynolda Campus is in the process of a transformation. Other spaces including the Law School and the Health and Sports Science areas have also upgraded their facilities. We also did not visit the Southern Family Court Seating that is under construction at the Tennis Complex or the Baseball Club House project that is taking place at David F. Couch Ballpark in the Athletic Complex around BB&T Field.

As you walk around campus you will see construction on every corner. It is exciting to see all of the construction and the finished products are inspiring. To me, construction is a demonstration of progress and an overall sign of good health for any institution. On your next visit to campus, please reach out to me or a member of our staff and we would be more than happy to show you the transformation that is in progress; however, you may want to wear some old shoes for the journey.

Let’s get ready to roll.

Barry