WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Wake Forest Athletics began work on Monday on the first phase of a planned $14 million player development center. Construction of the $9.5 million initial phase was made possible by the gifts of a number of generous donors
When complete, the state-of-the-art, 41,000 square foot facility will include a team locker room, team lounge, training room, equipment room, video conference room, team meeting room, a full kitchen, coaches offices, professional players locker space, a Wake Forest baseball heritage area and an indoor batting facility. Plans for the project also include renovation and relocation of the home dugout and bullpen and construction of a pitching laboratory, complete with 18 high-speed cameras designed to analyze the biomechanics of each player.
The player development center will be located along the third-base line at Wake Forest Baseball Park. The Demon Deacons’ home dugout will be relocated to the third-base side of the stadium, and the pitching lab will be built adjacent to the renovated bullpen. Construction of the initial phase is expected to be complete in January 2017.
Fundraising efforts are still underway for future phases of construction and renovations to Wake Forest Baseball Park, including the 100’x100’ indoor batting facility, which will be adjacent to the player development center and will be constructed without interior supporting posts, giving the Wake Forest coaching and training staffs maximum flexibility in their use of the space. Above the facility, plans call for renovations to the concessions stands and restrooms as well as a concourse-level viewing area that could be utilized for both Wake Forest baseball and football games and for other special events.
“As college coaches we are in the business of developing men of character, giving them a meaningful degree and helping them reach their maximum potential as a baseball player,” said head baseball coach Tom Walter. “This facility will set the bar nationally in all three of those areas.”
“The player development center is going to have a significant impact on the training of our student-athletes and overall excellence of our baseball program, and we are grateful to all of the generous donors who helped us get to this point.” said Director of Athletics Ron Wellman.
A ceremonial groundbreaking event is being planned for early 2016. More details will follow.