A River Runs Through It: Stormwater Design at VMI, Part 1

The new Corps Physical Training Facility at VMI in Lexington, Virginia was completed in 2016 and houses two indoor tracks as well as other training features such as a high ropes course, climbing wall, and cardio equipment. The project’s location along Main Street in Lexington provided several unique challenges, including the existing Town Branch creek that runs beneath the new building. Because of past floods along this section of the creek, the design team developed a flood model to both guide the elevations of the proposed building and ensure that the proposed construction would not make flooding worse.

Flooding of Town Branch along Diamond Street in 2012

To account for potential flooding, the entire building is elevated above the creek level so that a 100-year storm can pass below without causing flood damage. The first level of the new facility is dedicated to parking, so that if a larger storm event occurs the main occupied spaces will not be damaged.

The Diamond Street entrance to the new facility. The lower level is the creek level, with parking above it

Other design challenges included erosion control phasing during construction to prevent sediment from washing into the creek from the job site, as well as investigation and permitting of environmental impacts to the stream caused by the construction of the new facility.

Have questions about this project or other stormwater related work? Contact Carolyn Howard.

Read part 2 here.