No borrowing. No debt. No University funds. As promised.
Julie Hermann yesterday announced that the Fred Hill Training Complex will break ground on October 24, the date of the Rutgers-Ohio State football game. Over a year in the fundraising, the estimated $3.3 million dollar facility will provide baseball and softball with a year round training building. The complex is being named after the legendary long time Rutgers baseball coach.
While the Bainton family has continued to be supportive of Rutgers baseball, the funding for this facility was a "team effort". As Julie said:
"Our fan base now knows they can accomplish something. Our donors know that they can accomplish something. And there were a lot of $50 and $100 donors to this. So this was very much a Rutgers all-in. There were people at the high end and there were a lot of people that chipped in what they had. And then going forward, we're looking for a Rutgers all-in on what we can accomplish next and we're really excited because we'll get that done.''
And that is how things will need to be done from this point forward. At some point, Big Ten monies will help to build things, but until that happens, it will be donors - large and small - who will make things happen.
The baseball/softball facility is a relatively small project. Small in cost compared to other proposed projects, but a key starting point for an athletic department that needs to show progress.
Rutgers' needs in athletics facilities are numerous. But in a conference that has had a revival in baseball, competing there is critical, and this facility will step up the ability of Head Coach Joe Litterio to recruit and compete. And softball, which last year went 29-20, 11-12 in Big Ten play for a 7th place finish, will only be stronger with this facility at their disposal. Jay Nelson has done very well with very little so far; this becomes a game changer.
It's a good start. Now, about that parking deck and basketball practice building.
Architectural renderings of proposed indoor facility