Years in the making, the much anticipated Villanova Stadium West End Zone Building (we need a better name!) will officially open next weekend during Homecoming as Villanova Football hosts Albany.
Reader James Harvey sent in a couple of the following photos for your consumption, as he was able to get an early look at what the building has to offer. Here's his commentary on each photo:
Photo #1: Taken from the steps outside Jack Nevin toward the football field, shows a two-story weight-training room. Contactors were laying blacktop as I visited, I assume for parking spaces, and you can see fresh blacktop glistening on the ground. The bricks on the building are clearly intended to match the red-brick Nevin building. I then wanted to get inside the stadium in the hopes of getting a picture of the outside of the facility from the football field.
Photo #2: Shows the facility from the track. The two large black screens are the scoreboards and signage that light up during games. I'd have been quite happy to snap that shot and leave, but who should come wandering up the sideline but Associate Head Coach Mark Ferrante. A nicer and more affable guy would be hard to meet. I introduced myself, congratulated him for the success of the program and wished him well when he assumes the Head Coach position next season. I explained that I wanted a picture of the facility. He waved toward an open door and said, "Go on inside and take a look around." "That's OK?" I responded. "Why not?" he said, "Everyone else does!"
Photo #3: This is the football locker room.
Photo #4: This iss the trainer's room (I also took a shot of the whirlpools, but it didn't turn out.)
Photo #5: This shows the view of the football field from the reception area. There is a large event space on the third floor above this reception area where guests and donors can watch games, but that was locked.
Photo #6: This is the football team meeting room. I think it seats 100 people.This is going to be a wonderful addition to the football program and a great benefit to all the men's and women's teams.
Ah, yes. What about the new buildings across Lancaster Avenue from the campus?
Photo #7: Taken as twilight fell, this shows the parking garage under construction. I have the sense that all the concrete has been poured and, on some columns, the stone cladding has already been added. This cladding will apply the architectural motif of the main campus to the new buildings.
That's about it for the $300 million so far, but clearly the garage needs to be completed and operational before that unsightly parking lot along Route 30 is destroyed and replaced with Fr. Peter's new vision. The year 2017 will mark Villanova's 175th birthday. As our university heads toward the two-century mark, it's "national university" status will be matched by impressive facilities that integrate the campus on both sides of Route 30.