The University of Arkansas has begun construction on a $9.6 million practice facility for its baseball and track and field programs.

The 52,000-square-foot facility (right), designed by Little Rock-based Witsell Evans Rasco and HKS of Dallas, will include a practice area for baseball and throwing space for track and field meets, as well as a weight room for both sports. The facility could be completed as early as next summer.

Construction is under way on $2.5 million in improvements to the athletic fields at State University of New York (SUNY) Westchester Community College. Designed by BBS Architects, Landscape Architects and Engineers of Patchogue, N.Y., the renovated fields (right) will serve recreational, physical education and athletic training needs of the college's students, as well as the local community and schools. The work will entail completely reconstructing one baseball field to NCAA standards, repairing the natural turf, constructing a new backstop and player dugouts, and installing a new scoreboard and an automatic irrigation system. A new multipurpose building will house a concessions stand, restrooms and a press box.

The Pascagoula (Miss.) School District has begun work on a $10 million upgrade to athletic facilities at its Pascagoula and Gautier High Schools. The project follows a previous installation of new hardwood floors at both gymnasiums and will include new lighting for Pascagoula's stadium, baseball and softball fields; new field houses for both schools; and new dugouts, locker rooms and other amenities. The bulk of the work is scheduled to be completed by December.

A grant from the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office is bringing a much-needed upgrade to the Northshore Athletic Fields in Woodinville, Wash. The $750,000 in improvements will include better accessibility, restroom facilities, equipment storage, batting cages, a concessions stand and field upgrades. The work is expected to take two years to complete.

First Pitch

The Sturgeon Bay (Wis.) Skatepark Initiative has received an anonymous grant of $50,000 towards its project. The initiative has raised $250,000 of its $405,000 building cost. Designs for the park were created by Grindline Design of Seattle. The project is scheduled to break ground next spring... The University of Kentucky has selected RossTarrant Architects of Lexington, Ky., and HNTB of Kansas City, Mo., to lead the design of a $110 million renovation to its Commonwealth Stadium and football facilities. A final design is expected this month, with the project expected to be complete by September 2015... Officials in the Town of Islip, N.Y., are moving forward with plans to give Roberto Clemente Park a $1.5 million facelift. At the center of the project will be the overhaul of a currently decrepit Olympic-sized pool and installation of a spray park. The city hopes to complete the work by summer 2014. Nelson & Pope of Melville, N.Y., have been hired to design the renovation... Fundraising is under way for the construction of a new field house in Steamboat Springs, Colo. The field house would be built over a practice field at Steamboat Springs Middle School and would be used by school athletic programs during the day and be open for community use, as well.

Grand Openings

 

Marshall University's new Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex (pictured) is now open. The 13,500-square-foot complex includes an Astroturf playing surface with seating for 1,000, as well as an indoor component offering team locker rooms and program space, a sports hall of fame, an academic center and a sports medicine complex. In addition to serving the school's soccer program, the complex will host youth programs and tournaments, including the 2015 U.S. Youth Soccer Region I Championships. Designed by AECOM of Kansas City, Mo., the $8 million complex completes the first phase of an overall $33 million athletic facilities improvement project. The facility was built on land donated by the Greater Huntington Park and Recreation District with the provision that it incorporate the 33-foot-tall, 50-year-old stone monument that was included in the Veterans Memorial Field House previously located on the site... A new multipurpose turf field and track are now open at the Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor Fitness Center. A design-build project by Hellas Sports Construction, headquartered in Austin, Texas, the project provides a new synthetic field marked for football and soccer to be used by the Navy Intramural Sports Program. The field will also be open to sports and recreation organizations, as well as be used for physical readiness training... A new sports center is open at Nashoba Valley Technical High School in Westford, Mass. The $2.5 million center includes a synthetic turf field for football, softball, soccer and lacrosse, as well as a six-lane track. The installation of tennis courts will be completed by spring, and the transformation of an old barn into a dance and arts studio is also under way... Four years after work began, the Town of Hanover, Mass., is wrapping up the final phase of construction at its Forge Pond Park athletic complex this month. The $4.1 million project concludes with the completion of a pavilion, baseball dugouts and solar-powered scoreboards. Lacrosse and soccer fields were completed earlier and are already being used daily. The 46-acre athletic park is designed to accommodate regional tournaments in a park-like setting and also features a one-mile paved path, access to trails through acres of woodland owned by the town, and a boat launch.

Emily Attwood is Managing Editor of Athletic Business.