(Courtesy: JSU Sports Information)
Athletics Director Greg Seitz and head baseball coach Jim Case have revealed the artist renderings for the new JSU Baseball Stadium to be completed before the 2018 season.
The renderings were presented to the JSU Board of Trustees on Monday in the Board's quarterly meeting. Construction on the $7.5 million stadium is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2017 with a targeted opening for the start of the 2018 season.
The stadium was approved in July, starting the planning and design phase of the project. The renderings give the Gamecocks and their fans an idea of what the new home for JSU Baseball will look like.
"This is an exciting time for our baseball program and for our Gamecocks community," Seitz said. "This is the next step in the process and puts us closer to having a state-of-the-art home for what is already a top-notch baseball program. We can't wait to see what this new stadium does for both the competitive and recruiting landscape of our program."
Early in the summer, the program received a combined private gift of $2 million, the largest ever made to Jacksonville State University. That gift kick-started a campaign for private funds to help finance the park, which will be built around the existing Rudy Abbott Field at the corner of Rudy Abbott Highway and Pennsylvania Avenue.
The baseball stadium is expected to include a 1,000 seat spectator grandstand with a shade canopy, four VIP suites that will be able to entertain large groups with seating inside and outside, a new state-of-the-art press box to include radio and television broadcast booths, a game operations center.
The Gamecocks' home dugout will be located along the first-base line and adjacent to a new clubhouse that will feature a locker room, lounge, team meeting area and athletic training treatment area. The clubhouse will be attached to an enclosed training facility that will allow for batting and pitching workouts. New step-down team dugouts, bullpens, new coaches offices and meeting space will also be included in the project.
"The new stadium is going to mean so much to our baseball program," head coach Jim Case said in a release earlier this summer. "It will provide our student-athletes with a first-class facility, while also improving the overall fan experience. Obviously, this will be a great recruiting attraction for our future student-athletes to help us to continue to have a championship program."
No other team has experienced the success over the last 13 years in the Ohio Valley Conference that the Gamecocks have enjoyed. Jax State has won six Ohio Valley Conference Championships; won more OVC games during that 13-year span than any other team in the league; set the OVC record by posting an amazing 23-4 conference record in 2008; and played in the OVC Tournament Championship game nine out of 13 years.
"I cannot express how thankful we are to our lead-gift donors, President Beehler, and the Board of Trustees for approving this very important project. The new baseball facility will allow our team to continue to compete at the highest level, further demonstrating JSU Athletics' commitment to enhancing the experience of our student-athletes," said Director of Athletics Greg Seitz. "As a fan, I can't wait to experience the excitement of JSU baseball in this new state-of-the-art venue."
Davis Architects, Inc., from Birmingham and local architect Bill Whittaker will collaborate on the project, which is expected to take 9-12 months to complete. The Gamecocks will play their home games at Choccolocco Park in Oxford during the 2017 season.
Davis Architects has extensive experience designing athletic projects within the state of Alabama and throughout the southeast. They designed Auburn Arena, the Birmingham Crossplex, Bryant-Denny Stadium Expansions, Coleman Coliseum renovations and most recently Sewell-Thomas Stadium, the new baseball stadium at the University of Alabama that opened this past season.
(Courtesy: JSU Sports Information - New JSU Baseball Stadium)