- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 14, 2017

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Concrete mud puddles, dust, danger signs and hard hats populate the Washington Nationals new, soon-to-be shiny, spring training facility in West Palm Beach.

Workers are everywhere. In the unpaved lots, back near pitching mounds, around the corner in the clubhouse. Two things are apparent: The construction hustle will continue right up to the last second and the result will be a grand improvement.

Out back is a yet-to-be-filled pool. A row of new mounds awaits pitchers. The facility is shared with the Houston Astros, but feels like a standalone place. The new clubhouse is dotted with flat screens and red leather chairs. A large and lit “W” hangs looking down from the ceiling in its center.

Nationals starter Tanner Roark arrived two days ago. Even since then, carpet has been put down and televisions up in the clubhouse.

“They’ve come a long way to make this locker room accessible,” Roark said.

Most players were in the new weight room or out on the agility field, which flanks the series of pitching mounds. Practice fields are off to the right. The stadium’s second deck can be seen from there. Washington is on the right side of the facility, Houston on the left.

Arriving at the facility is a surprise. The nearest intersection is standard Florida: A gas station, baptist church and one-level buildings. Now, just down the street, is the sprawling new facility with construction vehicles rolling in and out. A giant orange crane sits in front of the steps to the park, which is slated to host its first game Feb. 28.

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