WVU Weight Room Renovation Presses Forward - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

WVU Weight Room Renovation Presses Forward

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A recent photo of the new WVU weight room. A recent photo of the new WVU weight room.
MORGANTOWN -

The Caperton Indoor Practice Facility has a whole new purpose this offseason for West Virginia football.

Normally just one part of the workout program – the conditioning – the facility now houses the entire weight room, as well. It will remain the WVU strength staff's headquarters until the old space has been renovated, a process that is well underway and eyeing a completion in time for the season-opener.

"We're very proud of what the weight room's going to be like, but it's just kind of getting us on par with what everybody else in the Big 12 is. All I ask for is for it to be functional," says head coach Dana Holgorsen.

Holgorsen and strength coach Mike Joseph have been discussing these changes since they first teamed up on the Mountaineers staff and took a tour through the weight room as it existed at the time.

Neither was terribly pleased with what he saw.

On a short list, they point to the slanted floors, covered in green "turf" that Joseph says dates back 20 years and Holgorsen calls "a rug from the 70's," and they point to the half-walls and the staff office that stand out in the middle of the room and take up space unnecessarily.

At about 23,000 square feet, the room was already one of the larger spaces in the nation, according to Joseph, but now it will be better utilized and, quite honestly, it'll look nice.

"The biggest thing when we're talking about facilities and competitively across the country is to be able to say that wow factor to a recruit," says Joseph. "When you have a young person come in here and say, ‘This is where I want to be, this is where I want to train,' and when the kids want to be here, kids want to go through workouts and want to get better, it allows us to have a better product on the field."

Gone are the seemingly random posters representing prior accomplishments and bowl games, all of different size and color – now they are replaced by matching, slick graphics displaying accomplishments such as three BCS Bowl Game victories, 32 bowl game appearances and 15 conference championships.

The platforms, which currently sit about three inches above the ground, will now be built into the flooring, each with a Flying WV at the center. The entire weight room will show West Virginia and Mountaineer strength logos on just about anything with a surface, just in case the recruit visiting the place forgets which stop he's on at the time.

"He's pleased with it," Joseph says of Holgorsen. "He's walked through different phases of it and he's 100 percent in the right direction and agreeing with where we're going."

A $2.6 million project should please the head coach and truth be told, he's pleased by the current use of space in the indoor practice facility where 10,000 square feet of plywood are placed on the turf to serve as the room's flooring.

"Having the turf field in the IPF has actually been great in terms of its efficiency. Guys working out can do running, lifting, conditioning all together," says Joseph, who points out that in the past, the players would finish their lifting and then go to the IPF for conditioning.

When the new weight room is complete, it will increase by about 1,800 square feet, most of which will go toward the field to feature a three-lane, 40-yard running track.

Plus, right beyond that part of the room will be the new entrance onto the field, where the players will run out with lights and effects surrounding them, something that will be quite different from the trek across the asphalt that has become customary of WVU's march into the stadium on game day.

"We'll be underneath the scoreboard and having that new atmosphere of coming onto the field will be different and I think the guys are excited and I think Coach Holgorsen is excited about it," says Joseph.

Making the weight room more functional and aesthetically pleasing is another step toward pointing the program in the direction Holgorsen hopes to take it.

While they finish that work, the Caperton Indoor Practice Facility will suit their needs just fine.

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