Exciting construction projects continue to move forward for VMI, which is certainly no secret to those driving on U.S. Route 11 through post. The Corps Physical Training Facility Phase III, the Aquatic Center, is a $44 million project that began in December 2020 with one more year of work scheduled.
Current activities on the project include installation of the foundation and the subfloor system on the main floor, as well as erection of the steel frame for the mezzanine area and interior walls. The large glulam roof trusses are scheduled to be installed in February 2022, with the goal of roof completion in the spring. Formal building inspections should begin in October 2022, leading to substantial completion in early November.
Just down the street at Foster Stadium, a new video board was installed in mid-October. The previous scoreboard was installed in 2006 and displayed a 23mm pixel pitch. The new video board will display a 10mm pixel pitch, as well as a live statistics tracker for games happening around the country. Piros Signs of St. Louis, Missouri, installed the 48-foot-wide by 24-foot-tall video board that’s controlled by a touchscreen from the press box. That system was installed by Daktronics, with electrical work by Saunder’s Contracting Inc. of Hampton, Virginia.
“This has been a fun project that will add a great deal of enjoyment to the fan experience at Foster Stadium for years to come,” said Evan Simmons, physical plant engineering technician, who oversaw the project. “It’s been a pleasure working with our athletics staff to make this happen.”
Users of the Chessie Nature Trail will also be pleased with recent updates. Runners, walkers, and cyclists have been detouring onto Stuartsburg Road since 2003, when the footbridge over South River was washed away by Hurricane Isabel. Completion of a new bridge this November will keep people on the trail. The $2.1 million project, funded primarily through a grant from the Federal Highway Administration along with VMI funds and funds from local municipalities, began in December 2020. In mid-October, bridge assembly was taking place onsite, and the full bridge was pushed across the river in two phases. Contractors then focused on adjustments to the grade on both sides of the river, finishing with clean-up and adding a parking area.
Maj. Michelle Ellwood and Kelly Nye VMI Communications & Marketing