Construction Reaches Final Stages
By Jason Birkelbach
Much work has been done for the sake of athletics at WCC. All of the efforts will soon pay off for theVikings come the spring semester. Construction on the school’s athletic facilities are nearly complete after three years of planning, work and delays. Still to is the reseeding of Barret Field, and allowance of the sod on the west fields to take root. The newly renovated facilities will be ready to be trampled by athlete’s cleats in spring 2015. “Baseball, they’re chomping at the bit.” Said Sports Information Director John Hrycko,
“Soccer…this year they’re all away. They’ll be excited to come back home to a brand new field.”
The renovations began in the fall 2013 semester but had been planned to begin much earlier. The 2.5 million dollar renovations were proposed in 2011 after the school received a government grant enabling them to pursue the project. According to Athletic Director Larry Massaroni, 2012 was the original date for the fields to be game ready.
The plans were stalled due to the lack of a proper storm water drainage plan. This delayed construction for months until a plan was in place.
Construction finally began last fall, but any progress was short lived. The winter swept in and placed more road-blocks in the way of the renovations. “It was a bad winter, a lot of rain, a lot of snow.” Massaroni said, “They couldn’t work.”Construction resumed in spring 2014, and the results since have been positive.
“Everything they’ve done so far has been very well.” Massaroni said, “Very good work, very detailed.”
The new baseball field features dugouts, a 24 foot scoreboard, bullpens, and new full perimeter fencing. Overlooking the field from behind the backstop is a new multi-purpose building. The building houses restrooms, a concession stand, and a press box.
Important to the field’s overall quality and longevity is the new irrigation and drainage systems, which both are, according to Mr. Massaroni, state of the art. All new features comply with NCAA standardsSimilarly, the soccer field has been affixed with new irrigation and drainage systems. The field received new bleachers and a scoreboard as well.
Recently the physical education building’s gym underwent slight renovations. Prior to the renovations, above player’s heads was a closed ceiling meaning that the framework was unexposed. The ceiling’s age presented safety hazards. WCC decided to convert from the closed ceiling to an open one. In addition to the changes to the ceiling the entire gym was re-painted. The gym was re-opened for use on September first just prior to the semester’s start.