The Wake Forest Football weight training facility in the new Sutton Sports Performance Center at Wake Forest University on Tuesday, Sep. 10, 2019 in Winston-Salem, N.C. (Winston-Salem Journal/Andrew Dye) 20190911w_spt_wakecenter
A display featuring Wake Forest basketball legend Chris Paul in the new Shah Basketball Complex at Wake Forest University on Tuesday, Sep. 10, 2019 in Winston-Salem, N.C. (Winston-Salem Journal/Andrew Dye) 20190911w_spt_wakecenter
Wake Forest is ready to pull back the curtains on its impressive new athletics buildings.
The football and basketball programs have moved into the Sutton Sports Performance Center and the Shah Basketball Complex (both men’s and women’s teams), and Wake Forest now has the brand-spanking-new facilities to show off to recruits. The school opened its doors to media Tuesday for tours of the buildings.
“Our players, right now, have always gotten a world-class educational experience at Wake Forest. And now they’re able to have a world-class athletic experience,” Coach Dave Clawson of the football program said. “I’ve always said, I think that facilities reflect commitment. If you look at our business school or you look at our library, you’d say there’s no question … that those things are really important at Wake.
“And now it’s great because we also have athletic facilities that scream, ‘Hey, athletics, football, is really important at Wake Forest.’”
The Sutton Sports Performance Center is an 89,116-square-foot building that is connected to the McCreary Football Field House. The Sutton Sports Performance Center features strength and conditioning facilities for the football team, as well as strength and conditioning facilities for men’s and women’s soccer, track and field, men’s and women’s golf, field hockey and volleyball; a nutrition center; heritage rooms for the football and basketball programs; offices and meeting rooms for the football and basketball programs; and plenty more sleekly designed features.
“I said for years that I would give prospective student-athletes, their parents, a tour of Wake Forest University and their jaw would drop with how beautiful the campus is and the condition of the building and the renovation of the dorms and the north campus,” Clawson said. “And we didn’t have the same thing in athletics, and now we do. We have jaw-dropping facilities.”
The Shah Basketball Complex is a 22,371-square-foot building that connects the Miller Center to this layout — meaning all four of the main athletics buildings are connected, from Miller-to-Shah-to-Sutton-to-McCreary, if looking at them from the football practice field. In the Shah Basketball Complex is a practice court that will allow the men’s and women’s programs to practice at the same time, if needed; a strength and conditioning area for the men’s and women’s basketball teams; a cryotherapy room and recovery room; and a viewing deck in the practice court, among other features.
The buildings still have a new-car smell to them, but they’ve also already been put to use.
“Only have had two recruits so far … they loved it, as you can see, got two commits. Hopefully keep stacking from there,” senior point guard Brandon Childress said. “It just shows you we’re willing to take the next step, regardless of what’s going on. These previous years have been difficult for us, but as you can see, we’re taking the next step, especially this year on the court as well.”