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Renovations Underway At Dick Peters Sports Complex

By Jon Painter
On December 5, 2016

Photo by: Ashley Alonzo

Renovations at the Dick Peters Sports Complex, home of the Ottawa University baseball and softball teams, have been underway for over a month now. Construction crews have been working hard to remove trees, demolish both dugouts at the softball field and install fresh sidewalks.

A continuing problem arises due to the proximity between the two fields: foul balls crossing fields during game time. Ottawa University assistant baseball coach Chris Michaelsen comments on the changes that are ongoing.

“They are adding to the baseball and softball fields. Grand-stand style bleachers for both fields, improved backstops which will be higher and made of netting rather than chain line preventing not only foul balls from affecting the field of play but preventing unnecessary damage to balls,” Michaelsen says.

In the past, attending an Ottawa University baseball or softball game has not only been marred at times by frigid Kansas weather but also by inadequate seating arrangements with poor views. Michaelsen discusses how these changes would make for a more inviting fan experience.

“It is the hope of the university that having a more fan-friendly environment will not only lead to a better experience for the fans that attend but will draw attention that will eventually help with recruiting and retention efforts,” Michaelsen says.

New tennis courts are also being created with lighting included. First-year student Rhian Shepherd talks about what these new courts means to her team.

“As a whole tennis team we’re all really excited to have the opportunity to have courts on campus. It will make practice a lot easier to get to for many of us, and it means that we have our own facilities to go to whenever we want to hit. We’re all super excited to get on the courts for the start of our competitive spring season,” Shepherd says.

Senior relief pitcher Tanner Stone echoed the enthusiasm about the renovations.

“I am very excited for the simple fact that I have never had something like that since I’ve attended small junior colleges before coming to Ottawa last year. I’m also excited because I am an energetic person and show a lot of emotion, so I think it will help myself feed off the crowd,” Stone says.

According to Michaelsen, the total cost of the upgrades to the Dick Peters Sports Complex is just under $900,000. It seems like the right price to give our teams the facilities they deserve. 

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