Construction update on new athletic and recreation facility

Construction on the new Richard L. Duchossois Athletic and Recreation Center has only had a few minor bumps and changes. Otherwise, the project is on schedule.

Elly Cosgrove

Construction on the new Richard L. Duchossois Athletic and Recreation Center is on schedule, with an anticipated opening date for fall term of 2020.

The Washington and Lee Board of Trustees approved the construction and restoration phase of the project last February. The restoration of the facility began early in the summer following the completion of commencement services in late May. 

Although construction is on pace, there were issues with the old water and sewer lines serving the fitness center that created some challenges, said head volleyball coach Bryan Snyder. Snyder serves as the liaison between the athletic department and the project manager. He is also the member of the department of physical education, athletics and recreation (PEAR) administrative team that has been involved in decision-making and design as it relates to programming for the new building. 

“We are not necessarily involved with the construction every day, so any minor issues would not really be brought to our attention,” Snyder said about whether or not there has been any major setbacks to construction. 

Below is a list provided by Snyder of improvements that will be coming to the new athletic and recreation center once the project is complete: 


* The space reclaimed by removing the former Cy Twombly Pool will become a new 7,000 sq. ft. gymnasium that will serve primarily as intramural, club sport and recreation space. This gym will also be utilized for varsity practices when the two larger gymnasiums are off line for University-wide functions (Mock Convention, Fancy Dress Ball, Campaign Galas, rain site for convocation, etc.)

* The fitness center will be reconfigured and will gain an additional 2,200+ sq. ft., increasing the total usable space by more than 20 percent

* The wrestling room will gain over 1,900 sq. ft., nearly doubling its size – an increase of 91 percent

* The Athletic Training room will increase in size by 170 percent, gaining an additional 2,000+ sq. ft. of usable space

* The former Warner gymnasium, now Holekamp Gymnasium, will be air-conditioned, have windows for natural lighting, will have the ceiling raised by approximately 8 feet, and have an upgraded press box that will run the entire length of the North wall

* Three multipurpose spaces will be created, one of which will be dividable into two separate spaces, that will total over 5,000 sq. ft. and will each have dedicated storage space for equipment. The former Warner/Doremus complex had only one multipurpose space

* Squash and racquetball courts will be redesigned to be regulation size

* A golf hitting room will be added with two hitting bays, one of which will contain a virtual simulator, as well as a separate golf chipping and putting room. These spaces will allow our golf teams and PE Golf classes a space to practice when weather prohibits access to the Lexington Golf and Country Club

* A brand new 750 sq. ft. Hall of Fame room will be located adjacent to Holekamp gymnasium and will showcase Washington and Lee’s long and successful history of intercollegiate athletics

* The surface of the indoor track in Doremus Gym will be resurfaced with a product that allows spikes to be used so that our track teams can work on some technical training (starts, exchanges, etc.) during inclement weather

* General storage will be added throughout the building, most notably on the first floor, where there will be 15 new individual storage cages as well as an open storage area for larger items that total over 1,700 sq. ft.

* New varsity team rooms for Men’s and Women’s Basketball, Volleyball and Wrestling will be created, and there will be two shared lounges (MBB and Wrestling will share one, while WBB and VB will share the other) for the student-athletes as well

* 18 private offices for head coaches and 25 office spaces for assistant coaches

There have only been a few minor changes made to the original plan. The location of the new golf rooms were switched to provide more ceiling height in the driving room and a door was removed from the first floor storage area that would have led directly into the new recreation gym. 

“Otherwise, the plans have remained unchanged, and I do not anticipate any major changes as we move forward,” Snyder said.