When the Merryman Center opened in 1998, it was one of the newest and most modern facilities in the country. Built at a cost of $10.6 million, it represented Virginia Tech’s willingness to continue to grow their athletics department following back-to-back Big East titles and trips to the Sugar Bowl and the Orange Bowl.
That was just 17 years ago, but it might as well have been three decades in the rear view mirror. Things move extremely fast in college football these days. Programs are especially inclined to spend a ton of money on improvements to facilities. The Hokies have done that in all facets, with an expanded Lane Stadium, the Hahn-Hurst Basketball Practice Facility, an Indoor Practice Facility for football, a new locker room, etc.
However, while all that work was going on, other programs built their own versions of the Merryman Center. They made them bigger and more pleasing to the eye. As a result, the Merryman Center no longer passes the eye test when you walk through it. It doesn’t provide that “wow” factor for recruits. It needs an interior face lift, and Whit Babcock is about to ensure that it gets exactly that.
I walk through the Merryman Center every week during football season to do interviews. Over the last couple of years, I became convinced that it needed some interior upgrades to keep it up to date with modern college facilities. I though it needed to be more aesthetically pleasing. The entrance hall is pretty nice, but the rest of the building is pretty bland. Here are some examples. Remember, you can click on all picture in this article for a larger version.
That’s the ramp in the Merryman Center. It connects the front entrance of Merryman to the football offices, which are just down the hall from the players’ lounge...
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