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Washington and Lee unveils revamped recreation and athletic center

The 165,489 square-foot facility will offer an expanded fitness center, renovated locker rooms and double the athletic training facilities.
Published: Sep. 11, 2020 at 6:47 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Va. (WDBJ) - Washington and Lee’s newest on-campus facility is almost complete and, once finished, it will usher in a brand new era of Generals athletics.

“I’ve been here 34 years and I’ve spent my entire career here in the former building and it was built for 900 students that were all male,” said athletic director Jan Hathorn.

That’s why she is excited about the upgrades coming in the new Richard L. Duchossois Athletic and Recreation Center.

The 165,489 square-foot facility will offer an expanded fitness center; a larger, relocated wrestling room; regulation size racquetball and squash courts; a golf simulator and putting green and double the athletic training facilities.

“It’s going to change the game, I think, especially for our indoor sports, but for everybody,” said Hathorn.

Both athletes and the general student body will have access to the new center, which also boasts greater wheelchair accessibility and the school’s Hall of Fame showcase.

With modernized locker rooms and playing courts to boot, head men’s basketball coach Chris McHugh said the new digs will make the Generals tough to top from a recruiting standpoint.

“Right now, during the pandemic, we’re only able to show it on video, but of course, in the future, we’re hoping to have recruits back to walk through this space," he said. "[They] already know our academic reputation, but to see how much W&L obviously supports athletics and giving us such a great facility to play in, I think it’s going to be a really attractive place for the best student-athletes to come compete in all sports.”

While the building waits for its finishing touches, students are currently using the facility for P.E. classes and individual workouts.

And though a return to competition remains up in the air, Hathorn called this a poignant moment in the life of this university.

“With the issue about confederate symbols and our name, this new building and coming back to campus in a COVID time, there’s all these points, or fulcrums, from which we could go one way or another," said Hathorn, "and I feel strongly that something like this building is a little bit of a beacon of what our future looks like, and this is how we can go in this direction, and I think it’s symbolic in that way.”

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