September 9, 2011
St. Mary’s University celebrated the start of construction for the new Outdoor Sports Complex with a groundbreaking ceremony on V.J. Keefe Field.
The new $15 million complex will include upgraded facilities for student-athletes and fans, such as renovations to the baseball field and construction of new baseball facilities, additional tennis courts, two soccer fields and two softball fields, including a stadium with locker rooms. Site and infrastructure work is scheduled to start in the coming weeks, with construction of the sports fields and buildings beginning in the spring. The project is a partnership between St. Mary’s and Bexar County, with a $6 million grant coming from Bexar County’s Community Venues Program. Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff will attend, as well as County Commissioner Paul Elizondo and City Councilman Cris Medina.
“The Outdoor Sports Complex is the realization of an important part of our Facilities Master Plan, allowing us to provide our students modern facilities that enhance recreational and athletic activities, which are key elements in health and holistic development,” said Charles L. Cotrell, Ph.D., St. Mary’s President. “The Facilities Master Plan was carefully constructed to integrate our many learning communities, such as academics, arts and worship, residential living, athletics and recreation.”
Bexar County District 2 Commissioner Paul Elizondo noted the importance of St. Mary’s and Bexar County partnering on this project. “St. Mary’s University is near and dear to me personally and extremely important to the landscape of Precinct 2. That is why today is such a monumental day for the West Side. We are acutely aware how athletics and extracurricular activities play a prominent role in the development of our students. This totally renovated athletic complex will not only put St. Mary’s on a higher ground when it comes to recruiting student athletes but also allow the community to benefit from the events that they will now be able to draw to their campus,” Elizondo said.
Cotrell also noted that the new complex includes accommodations that should help St. Mary’s attract even more NCAA Division II championships and tournaments, which showcases St. Mary’s and benefits the Westside and Bexar County.
“At St. Mary’s excellence in education is more than quality teaching, learning and scholarship – it is forming the whole person which also includes disciplined teamwork and the physical development of individuals that are a part of athletics and recreational activities,” Cotrell added.