WATCH: A Look Inside Construction of WVU's Weight Room - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

WATCH: A Look Inside Construction of WVU's Weight Room


It began back in December the moment the West Virginia University football team left for its bowl game.

Construction crews knocked down the walls, tore up the floors and began the process of completely redesigning the WVU weight room. It's a process that is estimated to cost the university $2.6 million and one that many within the program feel was long overdue.

WVU Director of Athletic Facilities and Operations April Messerly guided us through the new facility while construction continued around us, showing off what was already in place and what is yet to be installed with the project nearing substantial completion.

"I think it's turned out beautifully," Messerly said. "I think that hopefully it'll hit home with recruits when they come and see our new weight room. It's up to standard with our peer institutions and what we're competing against when we're trying to get recruits here."

The room certainly does pop and it does so in a way that the old green turf carpeting in the previous space couldn't do. With two levels of flooring, half-walls, and offices right in the middle, the old room was not only unattractive, but it lacked functionality that a program like WVU desires in its weight room.

Head coach Dana Holgorsen made it clear the moment he saw the weight room that it needed an upgrade and now he is mere weeks away from seeing it completed and ready to put into action.

Walking around the room, there are plenty of aspects of the room that are meant to give it a theme of Mountaineer football, including banners denoting the team's conference championships, bowl appearances and BCS bowl game victories.

A blank, white wall where treadmills will be placed will ultimately be covered in a graphic that includes former players like Pat White, Tavon Austin, Darryl Talley, Ira Errett Rodgers and many others. A blue wall just beyond on it will be devoted to Bruce Irvin, the former WVU defender who donated $100,000 to the renovation project. 

All of these graphics are subject to change, but the point is that the staff wants to make the weight room a way to continue recognizing the heights the program has reached as the current players strive to make their own accomplishments worthy of hanging on the walls.

"Hopefully, with the graphics celebrating our history, our past history and even our more recent history, this will be a really nice addition to our football facilities," said Messerly.

The offices that were once an island in the middle of the room are now pushed to the side opposite the treadmill wall, each with glass walls that will also be covered in graphics. The pillars that have been left behind are painted gold and many include clear dry erase boards, which give off an effect of writing directly on the pillar itself.

The flooring is gray and all one level, with a small ramp leading the way from the level of the locker room to that in the weight room. The platforms where the squat racks will be are all made of wood that is flush with the floor, rather than elevated as the previous systems were. Each has a Flying WV in its center.

A nutrition center is in the works and will connect to the training room. Both the nutrition center and another wall in the room will feature a donor recognition wall.

The extra 2,300 square feet added to the facility is closest to the field, where a three-lane, 40-yard track is being installed for speed training.

And right in the middle is a large, gold Flying WV, surrounded with what are meant to simulate yard lines. This is where the team will gather before running out onto the field on game days, introducing a new entrance directly from the weight room to the turf through automatic doors.

"Hopefully it'll be really cool for them," said Messerly. "There's a new sound system in here, so they will be able to use that sound system right before they take the field for whatever music they want before they hit the field with the band sort of forming their tunnel onto the field to their sideline."

The Mountaineers will begin using the facility later in the summer and the fans will get their first glimpse at this new entrance to the field on Aug. 31 when WVU kicks off the 2013 season in Morgantown. 

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