Board of Trustees approves a $1.2 million indoor practice facility for baseball and softball teams

Megan Wilkinson

The Board of Trustees authorized a $1.2 million project in early May to build a 10,000-square-foot, indoor practice facility for the men’s baseball and women’s softball teams.

Funding for the project will come from $600,000 in private donations and $600,000 in loaned university general-reserve funds. Joel Nielsen, director of athletics, said the university cannot reveal who privately donated the $600,000 at this time.

Currently, both the baseball and softball teams use the Field House to practice in winter. Nielsen said the indoor practice facility will make more space for the baseball and softball teams to practice in the off-season.

“A lot goes on in that Field House,” Nielsen said. “They share the Field House with obviously a lot of other teams and outdoor activities. Now, they will have a facility just for baseball and softball.”

The new facility will be placed on an open field left of the outfield at Schoonover Stadium, Nielsen said. The practice facility will include a real turf mound for pitchers, batting cages and small areas for stretching.

The baseball and softball teams will still use the Field House on occasion during off-season, said Matthew Geis, executive director of athletic advancement.

“It’s not something our baseball and softball teams will stop using,” he said. “But the hitting field will be more used during season practices for incremental weather delays and for when it’s chillier out.”

Both baseball and softball with have equal, 24-hour access to the hitting facility, Geis said.

Construction is expected to start sometime this fall and will be completed sometime in Spring 2014.

Nielsen said there will be an opening ceremony for the indoor practice facility sometime this fall for university administrators, players, donors, baseball and softball coaches.

Contact Megan Wilkinson at [email protected].