NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Old Dominion University announced Thursday that after a three-month delay related to the pandemic, the $3.5 million state-of-the-art Women’s Volleyball Center has been turned over to the university.
President John R. Broderick and Athletic Director Wood Selig joined volleyball coach Fred Chao during his team’s practice to congratulate them on the new state-of-the-art ODU Women’s Volleyball Center.
“This is going to be a really nice home for you,” Broderick told the team. “I had the opportunity a few times to go to some other women’s volleyball facilities, and they don’t compare to the facility we have, or what we have in the way of intimacy here.”
The opening day home game against George Mason University is scheduled for Jan. 22.
The building renovated for the project was a former basketball practice facility at the Jim Jarrett Athletic Administration Building. The new facility was officially turned over to the university today by the contractor hired for the project, Virtexco.
The facility was designed for volleyball, but the plans are to use it as a multipurpose venue to host events, summer basketball camps, volleyball camps, and university gatherings.
“Anyone who walks into this facility is going to know right away that ODU isn’t just committed to playing volleyball, it is committed to playing at the highest level possible,” Chao said. “This is a visible representation of the commitment that President Broderick and the University have made to volleyball. They want us to be competitive and they’ve been true to their word by providing us what we need to do that.”
Renovations include updated ODU signage, floors, and a scoreboard. Other features include a new visitor’s locker room, a dressing room for refs, and offices for the coaches. A new locker room with an adjoining team room will allow players to watch film, hold team meetings, or just hang out.
The main entrance to the facility has been redone as well which includes a large foyer with the ODU seal on the floor. Large windows line the wall to allow visitors to see the court from the entrance.
David Robichaud, ODU’s director of design and construction, said the foyer is one of the main “wow factors” that will make the center a pleasing and comfortable place for spectators.
Design & Capital Construction Project Manager Chris Pewterbaugh, “did an extraordinary job ensuring architect DJG and Virtexco completed the project within budget despite all the challenges we had to overcome because of the COVID pandemic,” Robichaud said.
Broderick said he will be at the first game and offered advice to the players as to how to approach it.
“You are our first volleyball team,” he said. “I hope at some point, that first time you really get playing here, that for just a second or two before it starts, you reflect on that. There are very few opportunities any of us have to be the first at doing something. You’re going to be the first at doing something here just like many years ago the football team had the same opportunity.”
“You will set the tradition. Hopefully, the ladies who follow you here will say there was a high standard set not only in terms of how you competed and how you did academically but equally important, how you were human beings,” Broderick continued.
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