The 2015-16 academic year was an exciting one for Wake Forest Athletics. Thanks to the generosity of our loyal donors and the ongoing success of Wake Will: The Campaign for Wake Forest, we continued to see significant progress on facility construction and upgrades this past year.
To date, Wake Forest Athletics has raised $16,763,853 towards the Sports Performance Center match with only $3,825,149 remaining. Bob McCreary (’61) and Ben Sutton (’80, JD ’83) have graciously extended their match campaign as we close in on raising the final funds in order to break ground on this transformative facility.
On February 24 Wake Forest formally cut the ribbon on McCreary Field House, the new indoor practice facility for Demon Deacon athletics. The 80,000-square foot structure features a 120-yard football field and weightlifting facilities for the Deacon football team. McCreary Field House was constructed at a cost of $21 million with Bob McCreary providing $12.5 million as the lead gift on the project that was totally funded through private gifts. Located behind the Miller Center on Wake Forest’s Reynolda campus, McCreary Field House is designed to benefit all 18 Wake Forest athletic programs and provides an area for teams to train year-round regardless of the weather conditions.
In April Wake Forest tennis broke ground on the Southern Family Court Seating at the Leighton Team Courts. This new project involves the construction of 718 permanent, chair-back seats around all six collegiate courts/Winston-Salem Open practice courts. An impressive $1.75 million was raised from many generous donors including the Southern family. Construction will be complete in August, prior to the start of the Winston-Salem Open.
Also in April, the Wake Forest golf program moved into the new Haddock House, a 10,000 square foot building that will serve as the home for the men's and women's golf programs while also showcasing the history and tradition of Wake Forest golf. A dedication will take place in the fall.
Lastly, Wake Forest Athletics began work in November on the first phase of a planned $14 million baseball player development center. Construction of the $10.4 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. During the ceremonial groundbreaking on February 6, Wake Forest Athletics announced that the Wake Forest baseball park has been named David F. Couch Ballpark in honor of former baseball player David Couch (’84).
The Sports Performance Center continues to be the number one facility priority for the athletic department. Providing a strength and conditioning facility that is equipped to prepare our student-athletes to compete at the highest level is critical to the success of all of our athletic programs. The Sports Performance Center, a 95,000 square foot multi-use building, will feature a larger, state-of-the-art strength and conditioning area that will include both weight rooms and cardio areas, dedicated space for enhancing the nutrition of Wake Forest student-athletes and will house football and men's and women's basketball coaches' offices, team meeting areas and other programmable space. Our plans will elevate our current strength and conditioning facility from the smallest in the ACC to one of the best in the nation, while also providing state-of-the-art equipment, technology and resources. The increased size and functionality of the new facility will enable multiple student-athletes in different sports to work out simultaneously and more effectively, positively impacting all of our programs.
For information about how you can support this crucial project, please visit wakewill.wfu.edu/lets-roll or call the Deacon Club at (336) 758-5626.
The Basketball Practice Gym, a $10 million project, will enable the men's and women's basketball programs to avoid scheduling issues that make sharing one facility challenging. Connecting the Sports Performance Center to the Miller Center, the Basketball Practice Gym will feature a regulation court that allows space to run the baseline as well as access to on-campus strength and conditioning facilities dedicated to men's and women's basketball.