LA Tech Unveils Future Facilities for Baseball, Softball and Soccer

The following is a news release published by Louisiana Tech. It is reproduced here for informational purposes.

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RUSTON – Scars from the April 25 tornado that tore through Ruston remain visible around the city and Louisiana Tech campus.

Some may never completely fade away.

But on Thursday morning, University officials presented a ray of sunlight for the athletic side in the form of renderings and plans for the complete rebuild of three facilities that were completely destroyed almost seven months ago.

University President Les Guice and Director of Athletics Tommy McClelland addressed a room full of Tech supporters, University and athletic officials, student athletes and local media with their vision for the future of baseball, softball and soccer.

“In the wake of the April 25 tornado, Louisiana Tech University received an outpouring of support from our city, state, and the nation, and we’re so thankful for each act of kindness and encouragement,” said Dr. Guice. “The tornado allowed us as a University to reimagine our athletics facilities in the context of our developing 21st Century Campus.
“We’ve involved coaches, students, faculty, and staff in the formation of plans moving forward, which include additional housing, updated parking, and recreational facilities to create a living and learning environment that is worthy of our wonderful students.

“These athletics facilities will allow our Tech Family to enjoy intercollegiate sports in a number of ways, and they will be a shining example of innovation for other schools in the nation.”
Standing in the Dr. Jarrell Team Meeting Room of the Davison Athletics Complex – the six-year old home to Louisiana Tech football and the standard for which Tech Athletic facilities will be matched – McClelland laid out the plans for the construction of the three complexes.

Baseball will remain in the same location as it has stood for the past 50 years while McClelland announced that both softball and soccer would relocate to the rugby field and part of the parking lot just north of the Jim Mize Track and Field Complex. The new location for softball and soccer will change the traffic flow on Bulldog Drive and the boulevard between the track and the current rugby field.

“We are so excited to unveil our vision for the future homes for Louisiana Tech baseball, soccer and softball,” said McClelland. “So many people who are passionate about our University have shared a voice in this endeavor, including a representation from our student body and our fan base.

“The construction of the Davison Athletics Complex and the new press box and suites over the past six years have established a standard of excellence for Louisiana Tech Athletics. Our goal with these new facilities is to meet or even surpass that standard. With our eyes focused on our student athletes’ welfare and our fans’ game-day experience, we feel we are delivering at a level that will be second to none in our conference and our region.”

McClelland presented renderings completed by TBA Studios, the same architecture firm that designed the Davison Athletics Complex and the new press box and suites at Joe Aillet Stadium. He also confirmed that Lincoln Builders is the contractor for all three complexes.

The overall project consists of the baseball complex (w/ indoor practice facility), soccer complex (w/ shared indoor practice facility), softball complex (w/ shared indoor practice facility), baseball facility, softball/soccer facility

Construction on the new facilities will be going on concurrently and should begin after the first of the year. The end goal is for all three teams to be able to compete in their new facilities by next year (soccer – fall of 2020; baseball/softball – spring of 2021).

McClelland said philanthropic opportunities would exist within all three stadiums and both team facilities. LA Tech petroleum engineering graduate Tim Cutt (1983) and his wife Carolyn donated $250,000 in September to the rebuild of the Lady Techster Soccer Complex in honor of former professor Dr. Robert Caruthers.

He also said that the renovations to the Lady Techster Tennis Complex would begin in advance of these three projects.

Baseball Stadium
Location: corner of Tech Drive and West Alabama (same location)
Seating: all chair-back seats with berm seating; partially covered; capacity of approximately 2,500
Fan Amenities: tailgating opportunities, restrooms, concessions, ticket booths, plaza entry
Unique Characteristic: Once fans enter the concourse of the stadium, they never have to leave (bathrooms, concessions, etc, all located within the confines of the stadium)

Baseball Facility
Location: northeast of but adjacent to the stadium
Includes: player locker room; coaches locker rooms; coaches offices; athletic training satellite room; team meeting room; player lounge; equipment/laundry rooms, indoor practice facility

Soccer/Softball Facility (2 levels)
Location: centrally located between the soccer field and softball field
Sports: Soccer, Softball
Includes: player locker room; coaches locker room; coaches offices; player lounges; team meeting/video rooms; equipment/laundry rooms, indoor practice facility
Unique Characteristic: The coaches’ offices overlook each of their respective fields

Soccer Complex
Location: north of the Jim Mize Track and Field Complex on the current site of the intramural rugby field
Seating: a combination of bleacher seating and berm seating; capacity of 750
Fan Amenities: tailgating opportunities, restrooms, concessions, ticket booths, plaza entry

Softball Complex
Location: west of the site location for soccer; will sit where currently some of the parking on the northeast side of Joe Aillet Stadium is located
Seating: a combination of chair-back seats, bleacher seats and berm seating; capacity of 1,000
Fan Amenities: tailgating opportunities, restrooms, concessions, ticket booths, plaza entry

What the LA Tech Coaches are Saying

“While the tornado last April brought devastation and heartbreak to our program, university, and community, it has also allowed us the opportunity to rebuild a stronger foundation for the future. We would like to thank our administration and all those involved in the planning and designing of this first-class facility. Our alumni also deserve to be recognized. Their past successes have paved the way for future athletes to train and compete in a facility of this magnitude. The dynamics of our new facility will provide our current student athletes with the resources to be more successful while enhancing their overall experience at Louisiana Tech. The addition of the facility will also make Louisiana Tech more enticing to future high-level recruits wishing to compete in the premier stadium in Conference USA.” – Maria Winn-Ratliff, LA Tech Softball Coach

“It’s such an exciting day not only for our baseball program and athletics department, but also for our great university and community as a whole. The entire landscape of our athletic facilities is being taken to an entirely new level. The same can be said for our recruitment and development of our current and future student athletes. We are so thankful to everyone that worked so diligently and tirelessly to make this day a possibility. It has been a long process since that awful night in April, but our people have stood firm and patiently worked every day to see us come out better than before. Our loyalty, patience and persistence will allow us to reap benefits in the future. It’s a great day to be a Bulldog and Lady Techster.” – Lane Burroughs, LA Tech Baseball Coach

“The loss of our field was devastating and the memories we created there will never go away. This new complex will give us a chance to create even greater memories. It will play a huge role in recruiting and provide a unique experience for the student athletes and fans alike. It is exciting and the team can’t wait to play their first game here.” – Kevin Sherry, LA Tech Soccer Coach