In December, construction and renovations began at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson and completion is intended for mid-March.
Wade Simoneaux, head baseball coach, said the new additions will include a new locker room, ticket booth and new showers.
“We’re also going to renovate the entire inside underneath the stadium,” he said. “We’re going to create a team meeting room, a player’s lounge, an umpire’s dressing facility, an equipment room and a training room.”
Simoneaux said it is a lengthy process to complete these new facilities, but the renovations are overdue.
“This stadium was one of the first stadiums built in Louisiana back in the ‘70s,” he said. “It’s long overdue. We have 38 guys that are dressing in 32 lockers.”
The player-to-locker ratio was a sign they needed a larger facility. He and the team worked to raise some money to assist in funding the construction, he added.
“We had some good donations,” Simoneaux said. “Gary Patterson was the main guy to start the project by donating a large sum.”
The project began at the beginning of winter quarter, but there were several steps to take before construction could actually begin, he said.
“There’s a lot of red tape to go through,” he said. “Starting with the fire marshal, then the aesthetics committee and campus had to approve the bricks before building started.”
Simoneaux said he and the team are hoping the facilities will be completed and ready to use by spring quarter.
He said the ones who will benefit most from the new additions will be current and future baseball players.
“We really just added on to our baseball locker room to make it larger where we could fit everyone,” he said.
“It’ll also be a bigger, better recruiting tool when we bring in recruits to see a brand new facility under here instead of the old one we’ve been slopping around in for a while.”
With all the construction and activity going on around the field, Simoneaux said their practices have remained undisturbed and are continuing to go smoothly.
“They haven’t affected practice one minute,” he said.
“We haven’t even been interrupted in our current locker room that we’re in right now.”
Lincoln Builders is working on the construction of the new facilities outside, and once that is completed, they will begin renovations on the inside, he said.
“When our home schedule starts we might have to move out of here,” Simoneaux said. “We’ll either have to dress at home or wherever until we can get in it, but it hasn’t delayed anything as of now.”
Pierce Spangler, a freshman kinesiology major and a baseball team member, said the construction has only affected the parking lot. Any other activities involving the baseball field will not be disturbed he feels.
“Everyone is just anxious and excited to move into the new locker room,” he said. “It will give us more space and we won’t have to share lockers anymore.”
The new locker room and facilities will definitely enhance the field, Spangler added.
“I believe it is a great addition to the field and I think because of the new locker room, players and coaches will look forward to coming to practice more,” he said. “It also gives players a place to relax and just hang out before practices or games.”
Overall, the new facilities and renovations will improve the function and aesthetics of the baseball field, Simoneaux said.
“It’ll open it up a lot and everything will be right here,” he said. “It will be more accommodating to spectators, visitors and the team.”
Email comments to kjk...@latech.edu.