Hillsdale’s administration is planning to extensively renovate the baseball, track, and football facilities within the next five years, according to Athletic Director Don Brubacher.
Administrators say the football turf and outdoor track are the most pressing projects, as they will only meet competitive standards for one more season. There are more long-term plans, however, which include new bleachers, dugouts, lights, and turf at the baseball field, as well as more space for intramural and club sports in the near future.
“Hillsdale’s track team has used the 300-meter outdoor track for 17 seasons, but it was only expected to last 12,” Brubacher said. “And the football turf has seen 10 seasons of use, but it was only built to last eight.”
According to Chief Administrative Officer Rich Pewe, the only thing preventing the renovations from happening this year is fundraising.
“Most likely the first action we would take would be replacing the football turf,” Pewe said. “If we can secure funding we may still do that this June. If not, we will play another season on the turf.”
Brubacher said the same for the outdoor track, though both facilities will see renovations within two years, at the latest.
The most important change coming to the baseball field is the installation of new lights. Brubacher said the team has had issues with players missing late afternoon classes to make it to early-evening games. With the new lights, however, games can be scheduled later in the evening.
The baseball stadium will also receive new bleachers, turf, and dugouts, similar to the substantial upgrades to the softball stadium which began in February.
“We want the stadium to look more professional,” Brubacher said. “We don’t want fans or players to feel like the stadium is just hidden in the corner between Biermann and Roche.”
The updates go beyond just official college sports programs, however. Brubacher said the college is planning to update club sports facilities as well as provide better fields for intramural programs.
“Right now there’s just not enough space for everybody,” Brubacher said. “We just want students to know that the club and intramural programs are priorities for us, not just the official college teams. We will never ignore one of them in favor of another.”
Brubacher specifically mentioned the ultimate frisbee leagues which frequently play on the IM fields and the quad. With the college breaking ground on Christ Chapel, however, students may no longer be able to use the quad, further cutting down on the space for non-varsity sports.
Brubacher said the college is considering clearing out space in Hayden Park for club sports and devoting the entire area behind the baseball stadium to IM leagues or pick-up games.
“We want students to have quality space to do whatever they need, be it official college sports, IM leagues, or just a pick-up game of kickball,” Burbacher said