May 1, 2013
RUSTON - Drive through the heart of the Louisiana Tech campus on Alabama Ave. these days and you will see the renovations of J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park, the Lady Techster Softball Complex and the Lady Techster Soccer Complex all nearing completion.
These steady advancements to the LA Tech athletic facilities have all been funded through private contributions of friends and supporters as part of the "Quest for Excellence" campaign and will greatly benefit the athletic programs as they enter Conference USA.
"We deeply appreciate the generous support of the loyal Louisiana Tech donors and the University administration for making these facility improvements possible," said Athletics Director Bruce Van De Velde. "The facility improvements will help demonstrate the University commitment to equity and women's athletics."
Starting in late February, preparation for the installment of lights at the Lady Techster Soccer Complex began with power lines being put in place under the soccer field to connect to the main power source.
Foundations were then started in early March with the concrete needing to sit for at least 30 days.
The light poles were delivered and the main frames were connected before the 1500 watt bulbs were attached and angled properly.
Throughout all of yesterday, the four poles were mounted onto the foundations. All that remains is to connect each pole to the power source which should be done in the near future.
"These lights will help the team stay out of the unforgiving heat and help the team prepare more fully for each upcoming season," said head coach Kevin Sherry. "There are so many people to thank that have played a big part in making this happen. We, as a program and the soccer community as a whole, are so deeply appreciative of this gift."
The addition of lights is just one of many facelifts the complex has received in its fifth year of existence. Prior to hosting the WAC Soccer Tournament in 2010, the facility added a new press box, permanent bleachers, a sound system and scoreboard.
Next door, the Lady Techster Softball Complex is wrapping up phase two of its renovations in preparation for the 2013 WAC Softball Tournament to be held May 8-11.
Beginning in late March, construction commenced with the removal of the existing bleachers that were original to the complex built in 1982.
The new blue, bleacher-back seats installed accommodates approximately 500 people.
At the top of the bleachers, a fully functional, 10-person press box with a video shooting deck on top was added on.
A new wrap will soon be attached to the outside of the bleachers to complete the facility project.
"We are so very excited about the softball facility enhancements," said head coach Mark Montgomery. "This is a tremendous first step in improving our overall softball program and allowing us to grow back to a level of national distinction. We have several other construction phases to go, but it is my goal that with hard work, as well as university and community support, that our facility will be representative of a nationally recognized Louisiana Tech softball team."
Previously, the complex underwent improvements to replace a wooden fence with a new chain link fence with padding and to install a new drainage system along with new synthetic turf in front of both dugouts and behind home plate.
Hop over Tech Ave. and J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park continues to be reshaped as one of the top baseball facilities in the South in its 43rd year of service.
Starting this past November, the latest project got underway to renovate the underbelly of the stadium and expand with a new locker room addition and ticket office.
The former locker room is in the process of being transformed into a players' lounge, complete with a computer area and eating space.
The walls have been painted, along with the completed installation of new showers and dressing areas for players and coaches.
"The work being done is for the development of our players and to give our players a larger space to dress in," said head coach Wade Simoneaux. "We are hoping to spruce up J.C. Love and give the guys a better environment to play in. We have had many donors for this project and we are thankful for their continuous support of the baseball program."
The new renovations will also include a new laundry room and equipment room, as well as a refurbished training room.
The visitors' locker room, which is the current locker room used by the Bulldogs while construction is taking place, will be remade into a dressing room for umpires.
Mondo flooring, a non-slip and heavy resistant sports flooring made from natural/synthetic vulcanized rubber, will be installed throughout the facility.
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