Branch was retained by Liberty University to provide design-build services for a new 1,000-seat, NCAA Division I Women’s Fast-Pitch Softball Stadium. Branch partnered with Baskervill Architects of Richmond, Virginia and TMP Architecture from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan to develop a design within the owner’s $9 million budget; specifically, to meet the requirements of new head coach, Dr. Dot Richardson, an international women’s fast pitch icon with Olympic experience.
The design “sites” the main entrance just four feet above adjoining grade and as patrons enter, they walk down to their seats; field level is 12 feet below grade. All ancillary support amenities which include multiple locker rooms, team meeting rooms, multiple training rooms and a fitness area are two feet below field level and can be accessed through the dugouts as well as a separate entrance near the bus drop off area. A viewing/sitting berm was created between first base and the right field wall to serve as a casual spectator area and an additional exit point from the main stadium. Behind home plate at the second level of the facility is a TV camera/commentary booth and President’s suite. The coach’s offices are located in a second level area behind the stadium seating, between home plate and third base; many of the offices overlook the field. All seats are individual with armrests. Shading the stadium seating from sunlight and rain is a sloping cantilevered metal deck roof, which also serves as support for safety netting. The field is sports turf, the facility is lighted for night games and the field is oriented fifteen degrees right of due north. Design was completed in less than 4 months and Branch delivered this award winning project via an accelerated, fast-track construction schedule.