Feb. 29, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – The nationally-ranked Florida State University softball program’s batting facility earned praise in a recent article by Florida Engineering Society Journal profiling the near-12,000 square foot structure.
The facility, which was awarded the 2011 AIA Tallahassee Chapter Design Achievement Honor Award, is endorsed for its combination of external features, comfortable nature and multiple purposes within the sport of softball. The near million dollar facility that was spear-headed by architects Lewis + Whitlock is a beacon for future player development while providing a safe haven from inclement weather.
“We are so blessed to have the support of the athletic department to invest in the softball program and allow us to have such an incredible facility,” head coach Lonni Alameda said. “We have the ability to run practice more efficiently and we also are able to host tournaments with quality warmup facilities for all the teams to use. It is a beautiful facility that really grabs you when you pull up to our park. From the time the crew was formed to talk about the designs of the cages to the time the last net was hung they always took the team into consideration and it was a joint effort. We are extremely fortunate to have such an amazing facility.”
As described by FES Journal, which serves as a monthly publication, the FSU Softball batting facility poses a unique look. It boasts an open-air cover structure that allows for natural ventilation and reduces energy costs, which has become an increasingly-important concept. Within the batting facility are four batting tunnels, four bullpen rubbers, coach’s observation areas, equipment storage, field storage as well as a multi-purpose area for fielding and athletic training.
Two levels comprise the award-winning structure, with much of the pitching and hitting additions being on the first level. The second level is an open area that is conducive to short or long toss because of the roof’s arched trusses that were specifically designed for warming up from longer distances, as well as for weather protection. Both the top and bottom levels are layered with artificial turf.
The FSU athletic department’s commitment to building such an established softball hitting facility makes the 45-feet high structure a rarity in the collegiate sport. It is pleasing to several Seminole fans that identify with Florida’s flagship institution and its patented brick makeup, which can be founded throughout the facility along with painted steel.
The article, which was written by the architect of the facility Rodney Lewis, lauds the overall design of FSU’s one-of-a-kind batting facility. From a visual standpoint, FES Journal believes the structure “provides a functional and aesthetically-pleasing solution to a facility that is located in a highly visible and prominent location on the Florida State University’s campus.”