Virtue Field House: Middlebury College’s Space for Sport

Recently completed at Middlebury College in Vermont, Virtue Field House features nearly 110,000 square feet of space for athletics and recreation.  The facility has garnered an overwhelmingly positive response for its attention to sustainability, architectural form, and site context.

Our attention is drawn inside the main field house, where a mix of excellent programming and detailed equipment design have expanded opportunities for ten varsity team sports, four club team sports, and additional intramural team sports.  And of course, those seeking space for recreational training and indoor physical activity have not been forgotten either.

It is the culmination of all this programming inside a single space that makes Virtue Field House a vital resource to the college’s student body.  To fully appreciate what such a space can offer, we’ve taken an in-depth look at the details that make the space at Virtue Field House so versatile.

Track & Field Programming

At first entry to the Field House, a spiritedly-colored 200 meter indoor track immediately catches your eye.  The running track carefully sets a border for peripheral field events, such as long jump and pole vault.  Top-quality indoor track equipment fixtures ensure safety and top-level performance for indoor sanctioned NCAA track meets.


Inside the track, a field turf infield provides a capable area for field throwing events such as shotput and weight throw.  A custom suspended throwing cage was also designed within the infield to keep athletes safe from throwing implements.


Track and Field is one of the flagship events in the facility, but a number of other sports have simultaneously found their home inside Virtue Field House as well.

Indoor Field Sports

Lacrosse, field hockey, and soccer teams all thrive on the facility’s turf infield.  Aiding each of these clubs and teams is a full perimeter drop down divider net system that was custom-designed for the facility.  Netting selections were made so that lacrosse balls, field hockey balls, and soccer balls could all be contained within the infield.  A middle infield net divider further segments the space so that multiple teams can safely use the facility simultaneously.  There’s no need to worry about chasing down an errant shot or kick here!


A Jumpstart on the Season

Athletes who participate in an outdoor sport can easily stay ahead of the game at Middlebury.  This is especially the case for baseball and softball team members.  Several batting cages are oriented throughout the facility for hitting and pitching practice, not to mention the fact that the turf infield with perimeter netting provides ample space for fielding drills.  Regardless of the weather in Middlebury, athletes have a year-round space to help them elevate their game.


Room (and Safety) for Spectators    

Bleachers line the length of the field house, with room for more than 500 observers.  This seating capacity has made Middlebury College the preferred facility for a number of events.  For safety purposes, optional drop-down netting has also been provided along the line of spectator seating.  Spectators can stay close to the action this way, without their safety being of concern.


Performance Delivers

Middlebury College and its supporters have made a significant contribution to the well-being of current and future student athletes, and in turn an exemplary facility has been constructed.  The versatility of Virtue Field House will cater to the performance needs of students for years to come.

Speaking of performance- many groups and individuals certainly outperformed throughout all phases of the Field House’s construction, from concept to completion.  Virtue Field House was named a 2016 Facility of Merit ® by Athletic Business ® and also received AIA Merit awards from the AIA Vermont and AIA New England Chapters.

Much of the athletic facility equipment featured in Virtue Field House was provided through the Robert H. Lord Company of Manchester, CT.  Robert H Lord Co. is one of the largest providers of bleachers, athletic equipment, and educational furniture in New England.  Robert H Lord Co. serves as the authorized facility dealer for Porter Athletic equipment throughout the New England region.

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