ECU baseball facility gets much-needed facelift Bob Forrest Guest Sports Writer Associated Press Ada — Athletic director Brian DeAngelis and the East Central Univeristy administration continue to drag the school’s athletic programs, slowly but surely, into the 21st century.
Only a few months after the opening of the Pat O’Neal Strength and Conditioning Center and the completion of an overhaul of the aging Elvan George Building, ECU has finished an $80,000 renovation to its indoor baseball facility. DeAngelis, who’s in his third year at the school, said the latest upgrade is another step toward making ECU more attractive to prospective athletes.
"With the facility improvements, we should be able to recruit some better caliber student athletes, and give them a better experience while they’re here,” he said. "We’ve tried to make improvements wherever they’re needed, regardless of the sport.
"There are a lot more things we would love to do, but a lot of it depends on how the state sets the budget and on our priorities,” he said. "Right now, there is nothing else new in the works.”
Although no other major construction is planned at this point, DeAngelis said some further improvements are scheduled on the ECU baseball field, which got new stands and a new press box last year.
"We’re going to replace the current backstop so it really opens up the viewing for the fans,” DeAngelis explained. "We’re also going to brick the lower area of the backstop to dress that up a little bit.”
Like the field, the baseball facility — which houses indoor batting cages, showers, a locker room and the coaches’ offices — was sorely in need of an upgrade.
"That building was built in the early 1980s and hadn’t been touched since, so you can imagine the shape it was in,” DeAngelis said.
Among the improvements made to the building: installation of rubberized flooring everywhere except the rest rooms and batting cages to replace the carpet that was there before; pressure washing and painting of the exterior and painting of the interior; removal of a non-load bearing wall that separated two small rooms and, in the process, doubling the size of the locker room; installing 36 new wooden lockers and adding couches and a television; converting a storage room into an equipment room; painting and carpeting the coaches’ offices while adding shelving and cabinets; and replacing the base on the floor, cleaning the tile, installing new partition dividers and replacing all the fixtures in the shower area.
The batting cage might have gotten the biggest facelift, though. That area got new padded Astroturf flooring, paint on all the walls, replacement of all of the old cable for the nets with a new system, new lights and fixtures and a new pitching mound and batters area.
"Weíre really excited about the progress our baseball facility, both the field and the indoor, has made in the last year,” DeAngelis said. "Without the help of a generous donation, this improvement would not have been possible. Now we have the ability to offer recruits and current players a facility they can take pride in.”