Tech Baja affected by new Strength and Conditioning Center

Upcoming plans for a Strength and Conditioning Center may put a pinch on grounds traditionally used to test out Baja SAE vehicles.A general contractor was given the notice to proceed Monday, March 22 and will begin as soon as the weather is good enough.

The center is part of a plan to build three new facilities, the Strength and Conditioning Center, a new soccer field and new indoor and outdoor tennis courts.

The goal of the new Strength and Conditioning Center will be to help train athletes more effectively and recruit future student athletes.

The center will be built to replace the current weight training facility on the third floor of Tucker Stadium, a less than optimal place for several hundreds of pounds of weight training equipment.

Construction of each of the new facilities is not set in stone, and is largely based on gathering donation money for each of the new facilities.

“I’m not saying that this is going to take place over the next 1 to 2 years,” Grant Swallows, associate athletics director for development, said. “It may take ten years.”

The first of the facilities, the Strength and Conditioning Center, will be built directly adjacent to the area where the Society of Automotive Engineers tests out their Baja vehicles.

“That space has always been planned for us to expand our facilities,” Swallows said.

While it may lead to a bit of a squeeze, both sides are working together to work out the best solution for both parties.

“It will be necessary for all the parties involved to put their heads together and work in good faith,” Dale Wilson, lead organizer and team faculty adviser for the Baja SAE team, said. “Everybody up and down the power train has been supportive.”

One of the three planned facilities, the soccer field, will be placed directly on the land that the Baja team uses, meaning that the Baja team will eventually need to find a new location, though not any time in the near future.

Baja SAE has been large part of Tech’s activities for over thirty years. Tech has more wins and more top ten finishes than any other school.

While the new situation may be inconvenient, it is hardly the end for Baja SAE. If possible, a better location or facility will be the next step.

“We try to work the best we can in unison with the understanding that we’re going in different directions,” Wilson said.