By SARAH CORNETT – EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Over the past few months, heavy construction has taken place on the Fishman Center, a new sport facility located next to Gary Wright Field.
The Fishman Center is an indoor practice facility for Centre’s Baseball and Softball teams, that is a result of multiple donations from outside supporters.
The Center receives its name from Mark Fishman, the lead donor on the project. Fishman is also the father of recent Centre graduate and baseball player Cameron Fishman (Class of 2012).
With 3,000 square feet of space, the new facility will give the Baseball and Softball teams the opportunity to conduct a variety of drills and activities.
“This facility will be transformation for our baseball and softball programs,” said Centre’s Director of Athletics Brad Fields said. “I cannot express enough my gratitude to Mark Fishman and our other generous donors who fully funded this project.”
More specifically, the indoor facility will allow the athletes to continue to practice in the winter, which could give the teams a significant advantage during their seasons.
“We are excited about this project and very thankful to those who have helped make this possible,” Centre Baseball Head Coach Mike Pritchard said. “Being the northern most school in our conference, this will allow us to better prepare our student-athletes for the season, when the weather is not conducive to being outside.”
Although the structure will be used most frequently during the winter, Fields is optimistic that the teams will utilize it throughout the rest of the year.
“While the primary focus is on use during inclement weather, don’t underestimate the impact this facility will provide in all weather conditions,” Fields said.
As a whole, the building will include standard turf, a new netting system, electricity, heating and air conditioning, as well as two large garage doors to allow for natural light and air when the weather permits.
Together these elements create the ability to hit inside the structure and for pitchers to throw to live hitters. The pitchers can throw off indoor mounds and a variety of fielding to help them prepare for any situation.
“Honestly [the Fishman Center] just fits with the culture change we’ve been attempting this year,” junior outfielder Charlie Grigsby said. “Having the facility eliminates the excuse of, ‘Well it’s too cold,’ or ‘It’s raining’ to not go out and get work in. It’s about accountability in getting the extra work in because we’re not going to beat other SAA teams on talent alone.”
The construction of the Fishman Center is already underway. The parking lot between the Gary Wright Field and the Post Office has already been renovated to accompany the new space. With the loss of several parking spots, the student and faculty lots were flipped to allow additional spaces for faculty members. Overall, the construction is on schedule with the final completion date set for the end of the fall semester.