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Building starts on Mather Park

Joe Amick

Issue date: 12/4/09 Section: Sports
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The construction of upgrades to the softball field is underway.

Stadium seating and a press box will be built around the current field, located near Clarke Tower. The completed facility will be architecturally similar to Nobby's Ballpark. One notable departure from Nobby's Ballpark is that the upgraded softball field will feature an entrance plaza.

"The design is exceptional. It represents great architectural work and represents a design that is very distinctive," athletics director Dave Diles said. "It will be a great asset to our softball program."

The new facility has been named Mather Park. A 2008 donation to the university from the Flora Stone Mather Alumnae Association enabled the improvements by covering much of the facility's cost. The initial estimate of the project's cost was $250,000, but current plans call for Mather Park's price tag to exceed that estimate. The facility's exact cost hasn't been determined.

According to Diles, the construction will be complete for the start of the 2010 softball season, so the team won't have to move home games to another location.

Softball upgrades have lagged behind those for baseball. Nobby's Ballpark was completed in 2007. Securing funding for improvements to the softball field was the problem. Softball didn't become a varsity sport until 1996, so the program lacks the alumnae base that would ordinarily support the current project. Administrators said that an improved softball facility has been a priority for the athletics department since the construction of The Village at 115, which opened in 2005.
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In This Issue

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