As Louisiana Tech looks to bounce back and rebuild after a powerful tornado damaged several athletic facilities, the school hasn’t yet set a start date for new construction.
According to the Monroe News-Star, the school is working on financial processes to determine how much it will cost to rebuild the school’s baseball, softball and soccer facilities. Athletic director Tommy McClelland said that the athletic department may have to raise money if costs exceed the projected total — which will be funded via a combination of FEMA disaster relief, school insurance, state appropriations funds and donations.
“We’ll have more clarity in the coming weeks to that,” McClelland told the News-Star. “Right now, we’re at the critical stage as it relates to where things are going to land financially, if we have to raise more money or if we’ll receive more money from agencies.”
The school released renderings for new facilities in November. Among the plans are a significantly upgraded baseball field and a shared facility for softball and soccer.
With the soccer season just seven months away, the construction timeline is tight, but McClelland expressed optimism.
“(Contractors) understand that in terms of soccer, it’s going to be a lot more challenging, given all the construction that has to take place around the site,” he said. “It’s possible they can install the playing surface, so they can play for sure while the other construction is going on. We built an end zone facility and still played football. They understand. Until I’m told we can’t make it, we’re moving forward.”
The shared facility will house both the softball and soccer programs’ team clubhouse, coaches’ offices, meeting rooms, locker rooms and equipment rooms.
The school’s goal is to finish the baseball and softball facilities in time for the 2021 seasons.
Whether construction will begin this month remains a question, but McClelland said that that remains the goal.
“Obviously, the sooner they can begin, the better.”