Photo tour: New baseball field house

Fresh off the top baseball recruiting class in the nation, Vanderbilt is wasting no time improving their baseball facilities. VandyMania's Whitney D. gives us a photo tour of the new baseball field house and batting cages.

In the October of 2004, plans for the improved baseball facilities were unveiled at the team's first annual Media Day and Home Run Derby. This artist's rendering showed the planned enhancements to Hawkins Field..

In April of 2006, the dream has become a reality, and the baseball team is moving into the new facilities. The coaches have already moved into the new fieldhouse for a shakedown cruise to make sure that everything's working before the players move in. If all goes well, they may be using the new locker room by this weekend.

The new fieldhouse is sandwiched between the football stadium and the home bullpen at Hawkins Field. One side of the building runs along the side of the east concourse of the football stadium. Workmen are still putting the finishing touches on the building.

The opposite side, fieldhouse is adjacent to the bullpen. In the distance, Memorial Gym houses the new indoor batting cages and the new baseball weight room.

There are two floors in the fieldhouse. The locker rooms are on the lower floor, and the coaches' offices and the classroom are on the upper floor. The glassed-in foyer to the left of the photo, two stories high, will be a Hall of Fame.

When the guys leave the field and head towards the locker room, the first stop is a "mud room", as they call it in the house. Muddy baseball shoes are exchanged for shower sandals, so the mud is left behind rather than being tracked into the locker room.

This is the main locker room. At the far end on the right is a lounge.

The lockers are empty now, awaiting the arrival of the team later in the week.

Besides these couches, the players' lounge has a TV and refrigerator, just out of sight to the right in this photo.

There's a separate locker room for alumni who are playing professionally and are spending time in town working out or visiting. There's a similar locker room for the coaching staff.

Coach Corbin has the corner office upstairs. The windows and balcony overlook left field. Offices for the assistant coaches are also located on the upper floor.

The classroom will be used for watching film, but also for . . . classes. Requests to use the classroom are already coming in, even though the building isn't yet officially open.

The back of the classroom features window looking over Hawkins Field.

Although the new fieldhouse is the most conspicuous addition to the baseball facilities, the part of Memorial Gym that adjoins the Hawkins Field also houses some of the enhanced facilities.

The old swimming pool in Memorial Gym is gone. In its place are batting cages, each separated by netting. Although the facility won't be complete for another month, it's already being used for batting practice. The upper level will house the new baseball-only weight room..

This is the northern end of the fieldhouse as seen you leave the practice facility in Memorial Gym. Coach Corbin's office with the balcony is on the upper floor; the players' lounge is on lower floor.

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Click on thumbnails to view a larger image.

Photos copyright 2006 by Whitney D for

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