Groundbreaking Ceremony for New Hitting Facility Takes Place Oct. 5
A groundbreaking ceremony for the new baseball and softball hitting facility is set to take place Saturday, Oct. 5, at 9:30 a.m. at Schoonover Stadium.
Members of the Kent State University administration and the athletic department will take part in the ceremony. Student-athletes and coaches of both the baseball and softball teams will also be on hand to kick off the construction.
The state-of-the-art indoor practice facility will include batting cages, dirt pitching mounds, weight training equipment and offices.
The project is made possible by a lead gift of $500,000 by Dave Edmonds, ’80, and a generous donation of $100,000 by Tom Cole, ’72, both of whom are Kent State baseball alumni. Additionally, there were other gifts of between $5,000 and $25,000 in support of the project.
“Both Dave and Tom understand the resources needed to ensure that Kent State baseball remains the preeminent baseball program in the MAC and have a constant presence in NCAA post-season play,” says Matthew Geis, senior associate athletic director and executive director of advancement. “The construction of this hitting facility is one more piece to transforming an already impressive Schoonover Complex.”
The facility upgrade is part of the Building Champions initiative, the biggest fundraising initiative in the history of the athletic department that was announced earlier this year. The initiative will generate money from private donors to fund a $25 million dollar investment in athletic scholarships and a $35 million dollar investment in various enhancement projects.
On a larger scale, the project is also part of the university's "Foundations of Excellence: Building the Future initiative." This campus transformation involves the construction of new buildings, facility upgrades and the establishment of dynamic, new spaces. The university has embarked on a major, multifaceted initiative to make each of Kent State's eight campuses everything a world-class, 21st-century campus should be, for the sake of the students, faculty, staff, alumni and the greater community enriched by the institution.
Changes to the Kent Campus are mirrored in the incredible renaissance of downtown Kent, strengthening the town-gown relationship and creating the enriching experience of a rising college town.
The hitting facility is part of continuing upgrades to the Kent State baseball facilities at Schoonover Stadium. In 2005, a field turf surface was installed, along with an underground drainage system, new dugouts, bullpens, backstop and outfield fencing. For the 2007 season, a home locker room, players' lounge, restrooms and concession stand were added. The updated scoreboard in right field was installed in 2008. Last season, Kent State baseball played night games after the addition of lights at Schoonover Stadium. The hitting facility and a new parking area for the 2014 season are made possible by both public and private funding.
For more information about Kent State athletics, visit www.kentstatesports.com.