Photos: Rector Field House, English Field at Union Park Suites

We had a chance recently to tour the updates to English Field at Union Park and Rector Field House, and we snapped a few photos to share with you.

This isn’t meant to be a comprehensive update of the work done to those two facilities, just a quick update with some pics to give you an idea of what has transpired.

English Field Luxury Suites

The work at English Field at Union Park has been well-documented here on It was finished during the 2018 baseball season, though some minor wrap-up work is still being done.

English Field now has four luxury suites, which are rentable on three-year contracts. All suites have been rented. Here’s a look at the suites.

English Field Union Park
Interior view 1 of a suite at English Field at Union Park (photo by Will Stewart)
English Field Union Park
Interior view 2 of a suite at English Field at Union Park (photo by Will Stewart)
English Field Union Park
A view of the field from one of the suites at English Field at Union Park (photo by Will Stewart)
English Field Union Park
The Lounge area, behind the four suites at English Field at Union Park (photo by Will Stewart)

Rector Field House Improvements

For Rector Field House, the big news is the addition of an indoor throws facility for the highly-successful Virginia Tech Track and Field programs, as well as an indoor regulation-sized softball infield practice area, plus pitching areas and batting cages. Those updates are detailed in 2016 press releases here and here.

Rector Field House
Rector Field House improvements (graphic via

Here is a floor plan drawing released in 2016, showing (among other things) the location of the new throws facility and softball facility.

Here’s a look at the updated Rector Field House from Lot 4 (near the entrance to the outdoor track). You can see the roof structure of the original facility in the background. (For comparison’s sake, click here to see what Rector looked like, pre-construction.)

Rector Field House
The new facade of Rector Field House, as seen from Lot 4 at Virginia Tech (Photo by Will Stewart)

Track and Field Improvements

Here’s a view of the new indoor track installed in the main body of Rector Field House. In this view, the East side (facing Tech Softball Park and Lane Stadium) of Rector is to the right, and the West side of Rector (towards English Field at Union Park) is to the left. Distance runners will be able to use the flat surface outside the banked track for year-round training.

Rector Field House
A panoramic view of Rector Field House’s new indoor track (photo by Will Stewart)

The new throws area, located on the southeast corner of the building, will feature two throws areas, one for the weight throw and one for the shot put. The area will include a javelin runway, a discus area and a hammer cage. It also will feature fluid seating, to allow spectators to view multiple events in the arena. The addition will be connected to the main arena and will be used for both practice and competition.

Here’s a panoramic view of the throws area, which will be jazzed up with Virginia Tech graphics soon, to liven up the white walls. In this view, the windows on the far side face Virginia Tech’s outdoor track.

Rector Field House
A panoramic view of Rector Field House’s new indoor throws facility (Photo by Will Stewart)

Softball Indoor Facility

The exciting news for Virginia Tech Softball is the addition of two new practice areas. One area contains three pitching practice areas and four batting cages, and the other contains a fully-enclosed, indoor, regulation-size infield.

Here’s a look at the pitching practice area and batting cages. Granted, it’s not a good look, because this area is very long and narrow, and this is a photo from one end.

Virginia Tech Softball
Virginia Tech’s indoor softball pitching practice area (foreground) and batting cages (background) (Photo by Will Stewart)

Now here’s a panoramic look at the indoor infield practice area. This image is shot from slightly up the first-base line. Graphics will be added to the walls soon.

Facilities-wise, Virginia Tech softball is one of the top three programs in the ACC. New head coach Pete D’Amour should be able to take full advantage of these great facilities in recruiting.

While facilities projects like the new football indoor facility, updates to English Field, and the planned Student-Athlete Performance Center draw all the press and attention, the additions for track and softball are huge boons those programs, and are very exciting stuff.



17 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. How does all this the into the new lax locker rooms, baseball indoor area, etc? Is there an overview of the entire facility upgrades? Thanks for the article Will, appreciate reading how VT is evolving in all athletic pursuits!

  2. I hope that they plant some trees and do some landscaping on the outside and front. It look really bare now and it not very appealing.

    1. Yeah, me either. Like I said, this hasn’t gotten much press, but is huge for those sports.

  3. Thanks Will, I was out of town for the tour available to me so this gives me another chance to see all the new digs. A larger expansion than I thought!

    1. Sure, no problem. I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw, because I haven’t followed this project. This is VERY exciting for softball and track.

  4. It all looks awesome. On the indoor track, it’s elevated, I wonder…will there be anything to keep runners from falling off of it in the corners?

    1. I scrolled down to ask the same thing. Can’t say I’ve ever watched indoor track closely enough to notice, but it would sure suck to tumble off the edge of that track.

      1. They have railings that go around the outside lane (and stands that roll in for meets). During training/practice, nobody uses the outside lane.

  5. Thanks Will! The softball indoor practice facility should be a big plus during the colder months and rainy days.

    I notice that the seats outside the suites could be better protected with higher backstop netting.

    I guess that’s about it for athletic facility improvements for the near future? I guess Cassell will eventually get more new seats. I’d like to see some improvements to Thompson Field within the next 5-10 years or so.

    1. Agreed. They will need some serious bars covering those windows. 35lb weights flying 70 feet don’t care what is in their way.

      1. after the hefty missiles knock out the glazed panels (and maybe wall sections) a couple times, half of the demolition will be done; and then new more distant ramparts with appropriate fenestration can be built. > tic <
        overall this facility looks good and i have to believe that any licensed architect actually considered said possible "flying weight" and calculated needed space, utilized materials, and allowed adequate protection (see hd nets) in the design. if not, it is an error he should pay for.

        the exterior perspective and its angle really makes that facade imposing and quite different from the old Rector with its oriental gabled roof and low-profile lines. the spaces (batting and pitching) inside are awkward shapes as defined by their function. they way they were blended into the sides of the building works well visually and functionally; and they could be expanded in the future as needed. looks like D'Amour is getting some nice practice facilities for a welcoming gift. i wish they had made the entry vestibule (btwn softball infield pavilion and throws wing deeper and larger: i have a feeling that a sizable and flexible space will be needed to accommodate more fans who will attend indoor track meets as well as for temporary team spaces for ACC indoor championships, etc. if not used immediately or in future that space could easily be converted to offices or other needed spaces since it would already be enclosed and conditioned.

        here’s hoping they will have several open house events at a couple early season football games for alumni (who gave $$), students and faculty, and prospective Hokie athletes and their parents.

        Go Hokies!

    2. I noticed some heavy duty netting hanging from the ceiling near the windows.

    3. Honestly, I couldn’t hear Tom Gabbard very well during the tour, but rest assured, those windows are protected in some fashion. Tom’s a smart dude, very good at what he does.

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