With seasons changing and winter rapidly approaching, most spring sports will be left out in the cold. But the Kent State athletic department has found a solution to the problem. For more on solution Kent State constructed, here is Raymond Ross.
For softball and baseball teams located in areas with harsh winters outdoor practices are out of the question early as October. For Kent State the solution to the problem came in the form of the Kent State Field House. Since 1990, the field house provided an indoor area for baseball and softball to practice. However, scheduling problems arise when nine athletic programs share the space.
The Kent State athletic department has once again found an answer, the David and Peggy Edmonds Baseball and Softball Training Facility. Doors opened Saturday, October 18 with a dedication ceremony. The facility is located on Campus Center Drive directly behind Schoonover Stadium.
The training facility has 13,000 square feet of turf and a retractable netting system hanging from the ceiling. This allows coaches to have up to six batting cages at once or pull the netting back and hold a full practice for the infield. A keypad will soon be installed so student-athletes can enter their assigned pin number and use the facility at their leisure.
Fiber optic cables were ran to the facility for various reasons. As of now, student-athletes can record their swing on camera and stream it so they can get feedback. In the future the baseball program hopes to use the fiber optics to help recruiting efforts. With time, the Kent State baseball team would like to stream their games over the internet, providing parents a way to watch their children from home.
The new facility is part of the largest fundraising initiative in Kent State athletic’s history, The Building Champions Initiative. Beginning in 2013, the initiative plans to generate $25 million for athletic scholarships $35 million in athletic improvements through private donations.
For the facility to become a reality Kent State baseball alumni needed to help. Leading the way was Dave Edmonds and Tom Cole with gifts of $500,000 and $100,000 respectively. The addition allows softball and baseball programs to compete at a higher level and practice all year round. Hopefully, the impact will be long lasting.