Adams State to begin baseball field construction

(06-07-2012)

With the reintroduction of collegiate baseball at Adams State University, a new baseball complex featuring synthetic turf will be developed on Stadium Dr. along the river, just north of the new softball and soccer/lacrosse fields. The work should begin in late July and be finished by October, according to Erik van de Boogaard, associate VP for Facilities Planning, Design & Construction.

"Our immediate campus neighbors have been very patient with the traffic, machinery, noise, and dirt moving that has accompanied our recent North Campus Transformation construction and renovation projects," said Adams State President David Svaldi. "The baseball field will be a relatively brief project, and we are conscious of minimizing inconvenience in the neighborhood."

The university recently completed $65 million in campus improvement projects.

Baseball is the latest sport to be added by the Grizzly Athletic Department. Coach Jim Capra, Adams State Class of 1980, is recruiting Adams State's first baseball team in 35 years. The team's first season will be next spring.

Athletic Director Larry Mortensen said: "Baseball is a popular sport in the San Luis Valley and Southern Colorado. The Admission Office's top request from prospective students is baseball."

The team is expected to add 40 students over the next two years, with most beginning this fall. This translates to $485,000 a year in new tuition, fee, and room and board revenue.

"Our expanded athletic offerings have been key to achieving record-breaking enrollments in the last three years," Svaldi noted. "Student-athletes tend to persist and graduate at a higher rate than non-athletes."

Over the last three years, Adams State added men's golf, men's soccer, men's and women's swimming and diving, and men's and women's lacrosse. These teams, along with new J.V. and club sports programs, have brought about 220 new student-athletes to Adams State who wouldn't have otherwise attended.

"The state continues to cut its support of public higher education. Enrollment growth, along with our campus improvements, is helping Adams State weather this situation for the benefit of both our students and community," Svaldi said.

By Julie Waechter