The Athletic Department received approval last week to move forward with phase two of a four-part plan to renovate baseball’s Scolinos Field.
Last week’s meeting was attended by representatives from the Athletic Department, Facilities Planning and Management and University Administration. The department presented its overall plan for the project and specifically what phase two will entail.
“It was a good chance to sit down with our university administration and talk about how the project got started,” Athletic Director Brian Swanson said.
The department also reviewed the progress made so far in the project. Lights were installed, and the scoreboard was updated as part of phase one that was completed in January 2016. The scoreboard renovation was originally scheduled to be part of phase four until a donor came forward with a donation of $20,000.
Two months prior to last week’s meeting the department met with Facilities Planning and Management to more fully plan out the scope of phase two based on budget and time constraints.
Phase two includes new field netting system, new external and internal fencing around the field and replacing the backstop and moving it in.
Depending on the final cost of the initial scope of phase two, other small renovations could be added. The key, according to Swanson, is to account for these added renovations before construction begins.
“When you go out for bid for the contractor to do the work, you can put some contingencies in there,” Swanson said. “You can almost have an a la carte menu of that.”
Some of those contingencies may include expanding the dugout, a new roof and adding more seats. Swanson will meet with baseball’s coaching staff in the next few weeks to go over the plan for phase two to make sure the team’s needs are met in this part of the renovation.
However, smaller renovations may be added to phase two as the details are finalized in the next stage of the process. Before a project can begin, several steps must be taken starting with the scope of the project being described in detail in the form of a request for proposal.
The request for proposal is then sent to potential construction vendors who bid to take on the project. The process of putting together the request for proposal and selecting a vendor will begin later this month and will be completed by January 2019, according to Swanson.
Construction for phase two is scheduled to begin June 2019 and be completed by August and the estimated cost of the project is between $300,000-$400,000. The Athletic Department set up a specific fund for the Scolinos Stadium Project that currently has just over $200,000 in it. However, the department has money set aside in other funds including a general fund for all renovation projects.
Phases three and four are the most expensive portions of the project and are still far from being completed, but that does not mean Swanson and the department are not thinking about them.
“We have to be mindful of thinking how we’re designing phase two how phases three and four would dove tail,” Swanson said. “I don’t want to put in phase two and we have to go and tear out half the back stop.”
Now that the project is set to go forward, the department will go back to previous donors to see if more can be raised.
Two months ago, Chris Asa was hired to take over as Associate Athletic Director for External Affairs. Paul Bubb, who previously held the position, left the school in December 2017 making it tougher for the department to connect with donors on a consistent basis.
“He’s the guy that can day-to-day communicate with donors,” Swanson said. “Having the external person allows more consistent contact and follow up and getting back to people who have questions.”
Asa most recently worked at Florida A&M University as an Associate Athletic Director for Tickets and Sponsorships.
Phases three and four have been broadly laid out but will not be fully fleshed out until phase two is completed. Phase three is scheduled to include new bleachers, press box, batting cages and bullpens. Phase four will include bathrooms, concessions and team room.
Phase three is estimated to cost between $1.5 and 2 million and phase four between $2-2.5 million.
“You never know what happens, but the general concept of the phases are still the same and the general concepts in each one haven’t changed.”