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Posted by: Date: January 28, 2012 In: ,
Trevor Lubking throws a fast ball during spring training. (John Froschauer, Photographer)Trevor Lubking throws a fast ball during spring training. (John Froschauer, Photographer)

Facility upgrades expand athletic opportunity

By Chris Albert and Barbara Clements

Lower campus is transforming the PLU Athletic landscape with capital facilities projects taking place throughout 2012. This year, the focus will be on PLU’s baseball fields. So far, $10,000 has been raised for the new fields, with a deadline of $100,000 by May 31. PLU received a lead gift of $250,000 for the fields and other projects from Regent Lisa (Miles ’84) and Tim Kittilsby ’84 last year. This first class facility will enhance the PLU baseball program by:

This year, the focus will be on PLU’s baseball fields. So far, $10,000 has been raised for the new fields, with a deadline of $100,000 by May 31. PLU received a lead gift of $250,000 for the fields and other projects from Regent Lisa (Miles ’84) and Tim Kittilsby ’84 last year. This first class facility will enhance the PLU baseball program by:

  •   Helping attract potential student athletes
  •   Providing a venue to host NCAA Division III playoff games
  •   Creating an opportunity for year-round practice and games for PLU and for community baseball teams

 

Last summer, the running track was resurfaced and a new drainage system was installed. As in years past, it will be the host site of the PLU Invitational track and field meet in early spring. It will also be the location for the 2012 Northwest Conference Track and Field Championships.

Pitcher throwing ball

Updating the track provides not only a better site for hosting the championships, but updates a facility for use by the entire community, said Laurie Turner, director of PLU Athletics.

“That track really is a community property,” she said.

In April, groundbreaking on the first of two all-purpose athletic fields will take place. The fields will be located where the current golf course existed. The golf course closed for good at the end of last summer. Installation of the first of two fields, a $3 million project, should be complete by Fall 2012.
Last year, new bleachers were installed for the baseball field. If the goal for the all-weather turf baseball infield is met by May 31, construction will begin later in 2012.

“The direct impact it has on the student athlete is phenomenal,” Turner said, of the improved facilities.

The baseball field and fundraising is moving forward to replace the current baseball playing surface with a synthetic playing surface. Improved capital facilities and the new all-purpose fields offer an improved student athlete experience, Turner said, and better health and wellness resources for the non-student athletes and faculty and staff. Student athletes won’t have to find locations off-campus to practice because of a lack of adequate space on campus.

“All of these things are huge selling points for the college experience,” Turner said.