By Cody Shook, Sports Editor
The Belmont Savings Bank indoor practice facility, located next to the softball field on the West Liberty University campus is within months of being completely finished.
The very generous donation from Belmont Savings Bank came over a year ago, and that got the ball rolling on the indoor practice facility. The baseball and softball teams raised thousands of dollars for the past two years, and these teams are eager to get inside and practice for their upcoming seasons.
The facility located in the Beta Hall parking lot has its outer shell complete, and the all-white building with the West Liberty logo on the front just needs the interior finished before athletes can start practicing inside the building.
The initial completion date set for late October, and the grand opening scheduled for November 8, we are now in mid-January and it’s still not complete. Head Coach of the baseball team, Eric Burkle said “Weather has been the main delay, but there was also a manufacturing delay when something was made wrong at the factory during the fabrication process.”
As we all know, it gets cold early in the hills of West Virginia, so with temperatures dropping and weather getting worse, a delay seems to be expected moving forward. Luckily the outer shell has been put on. The remainder of the work is on the interior and the weather shouldn’t have as much of an effect. The manufacturing delay is something that wasn’t expected or planned for, and it set the completion date back, but it’s all fixed now and moving forward.
To raise more money for the baseball and softball teams, both teams will be holding a meet the team fundraiser on Saturday, February 2 at the Highlands Event Center. Tickets are 40 dollars apiece and they are selling out fast. Tickets can be found on the West Liberty baseball Twitter and Facebook pages as well as on hilltoppersports.com.
At the fundraiser, there will be a catered dinner, cash bash, silent auction and more. Steve Blass, a former Major League Baseball player that played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, will be speaking at the team meet and greet. The event will be from 7-10 p.m. and all funds raised will go back to the baseball and softball programs.
Coach Burkle said “My hope is that our seniors who have raised money for the past two years will get to use this facility before they graduate. They have put a lot of time and effort into this project and to this point they may not get anything out of it, other than passing it on to future classes of alumni.”
This practice facility will benefit many teams on campus in various ways, and it needs to be completed sooner rather than later. A lot of time and money has been put into getting the Belmont Savings Bank indoor practice facility and the athletes want to see it finished.
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Photo Credit: Macy Santicola