Members of the Butler track and baseball teams have another thing to be thankful for this holiday season—their upgraded facilities.
The outdoor track area has been resurfaced, along with fence repair and drainage work, while the baseball field is undergoing improvements to its backstop seating, dugouts, left field line and drainage system.
Tom Crowley, associate athletic director of internal operations, said the main purpose of the updates was to increase the quality of student-athletes’ time at Butler.
“First and foremost, it’s about enhancing our current student-athletes and their experience,” Crowley said.
The construction began last summer once funds were available, with the bulk of them coming from donations.
“Almost all of our availability is always based on available revenue,” Crowley said. “In this case almost all of that is based on fundraising through private philanthropy. That’s what creates the dollars that allow us to do [renovations].”
Crowley said the track renovations will cost just less than $700,000, and the baseball additions will cost approximately $90,000.
To sophomore hurdler Mick Wang, the changes to the track area are much-needed improvements.
“Basically, we didn’t have a track,” Wang said. “We just ran on a surface they provided us, but it wasn’t anything legitimate.”
Wang said that the runners had to watch out for divots in the old track, which was 20 meters short of regulation size.
Wang said he believes the new additions to the facilities will help the team improve on and off the track.
“This will help us reach a different kind of goal this year,” Wang said. “The school notices what we’re doing. They’ve taken an interest in propelling us to the next level. This new track is a morale boost and something for us to get excited about.”
The facility updates will also serve as an incentive for future Butler recruits.
“I do think there’s a secondary effect with all of these things,” Crowley said. “It makes them nicer and better, and people like them more.
“They’re more appealing, and that certainly is a good thing when you’re trying to recruit.”
Although the track team has not yet used the newly surfaced track, construction should be completed in time for use during the spring season, Crowley said.
The completion date for construction on the baseball field is still undetermined.