Construction lines the athletic areas around Columbus State University. Athletic Director Todd Reeser says millions of dollars in funds are going toward a renovated baseball stadium, new golf facilities, and a seven-acre, 12-court tennis court expansion.
Reeser says the projects are in line with his duty as AD to retain student-athletes and recruit premiere talent.
“It’s part of the recruiting puzzle,” Reeser said. “And to attract top caliber student-athletes, you need to provide outstanding facilities for them to practice and compete.”
Reeser has been AD for a little over a year. He says donors and past leaders in the athletic association have impacted the decision to build and expand.
16-year tennis coaching veteran Evan Isaacs says the tennis facility, constructed in a partnership with the Columbus Regional Tennis Association; or CORTA, will be state-of-the art. Talks have persisted for about nine years.
“I think it’s going to be one of the better facilities in the country for college tennis,” Isaacs said. “It’ll rival some Division 1 schools. I think it’s going to be one of the best by far.”
The men’s and women’s head tennis coach says the new facilities will allow for both gender’s singles matches to be played simultaneously. This could cut down on match time by about two hours. Plans also call for cameras on the court and a new scoreboard, so that fans and coaches alike can keep tabs on every match all at once.
Baseball head coach Greg Appleton has gotten feedback from his players and from others around the university.
“The players are out here everyday because we’re out here still practicing on the field,” Appleton said. “They’re checking out what’s going on everyday and seeing every block and brick that’s put up. So they’re obviously excited about it too.”
Coach Appleton says he eats at Burger King pretty frequently, so he’s happy that the new baseball stadium will be named after the popular fast food chain. In total, the baseball renovations will cost $1.2 million. The tennis complex calls for about $2 million, and the new Key Golf Studio will cost $1.75 million.
The golf facilities are due to open within the next few weeks, while the tennis and baseball renovations should be completed by the start of February 2016.