NEWBERRY, S.C. (courtesy newberry.edu) — Newberry College officially broke ground Sept. 13 on the first phase of major renovations to historic Setzler Field.
The ceremony opens construction on an Athletic Performance Improvement Center, to include improved guest accommodations and expanded sports medicine facilities. This comes after the Board of Trustees approved the $2.3 million phase one project last month.
“This project is the direct result of hard work, generosity, and dreams of many dedicated men and women,” said President Maurice Scherrens. “We are excited to officially begin construction, and we know the outcome will bring a host of benefits to the College. I’d like to thank everyone who helped get us here, and with your continued support, I look forward to launching phase two in the near future.”
The project will comprise a 6,750-square-foot Athletic Performance Improvement Center in the north end zone, with a 3,000-square-foot weight room, 2,000 square feet of athletic training space, a medical examination room, office space, a locker room for game officials and public restrooms.
Construction on the facility is expected to begin in November. New LED lights have already been installed on the field, and the over 60-year-old stadium restrooms were demolished last month. Air-conditioned, temporary guest accommodations are in place for the 2019-2020 season. Completion of the project is expected next summer, ready for the 2020 football and field hockey seasons.
“I want to thank the awesome people that are making this day possible, our donors that have chosen to help us,” said Director of Athletics Ralph Patterson. “I know that you can make a choice to help other groups, and the fact that you’ve chosen Newberry, to help us, means the world to us, and we thank you very much. The reason that they’re doing this, there are about 200 or 300 reasons out there, and that’s our student-athletes.”
Attending Friday’s ceremony was Melvin Younts, a leading supporter of higher education whose $1 million matching gift pledge has helped propel the project forward. Other major donors in attendance included Jean and Charlie Haggard, and Carter Pearson, on behalf of his parents, Trish and the late Wayne Pearson. Newberry Mayor Foster Senn was also in attendance.
The Athletic Performance Improvement Center is the first phase of the stadium expansion project. Phase Two will include an Athletic Field House on the east side of Setzler Field.