We brought you a first look at the progress on the new practice facility a little over a week ago. And yesterday was a beautiful Wednesday afternoon, I had gotten all my errands done, so I took a ride over and here’s what we saw.
The Marco Battaglia Football Practice complex starting to take shape ⚔️ pic.twitter.com/WtYQFycXSl— RU Facilities & Ops (@RU_Operations) June 28, 2017
First, a side trip. For those who were hoping that something exciting was happening on the site of the new RWJBarnabas Health Performance Center....you’ll be disappointed. The groundbreaking - or more accurately construction - isn’t planned to start until next month. But for the record, this is what is there now.
Yeah, not much to see. So, we move on.
Okay, what you came for....football!
First, what’s not up yet. Video towers. No more sending some poor manager/video guy up on a rented scissor lift. The new facility will have permanent structures from which video can be recorded. It is in pieces in the White Parking Lot. On the negative side? They have to walk up. I say, T-O-O B-A-D. They’re young.
If you stand over by the Scarlet Walk and look back, it’s starting to look pretty good.
As you walk out to Sutphen Road - towards the parking areas - you come to the intersection between Athletes’ Glen and the Yellow lot. Just behind where that front-end loader is, the plans show lettering to be put on the wall saying the Marco Battaglia Football Practice Facility. And the two large posts are for the video screen that supposedly will face outward so fans can see....whatever they want to show.
Along the road, the brick pillars are going in, to be “filled in” with the wrought iron fencing. Brick....wrought iron....big impressive stuff. I’m good with that. And as you look across the field - turf looks pretty good, right? - you can see the new storage/maintenance building going up.
Need a closer look? Okay, give me a second to run around the other side....
Now, the truth is, you can sweat and strain inside a chain link fence just as well and just as much as you can inside brick walls. But, come on, it looks pretty nice, right?
Meanwhile, over by the Baseball/Softball Complex
No more chain link fencing.
And no more chintzy signs, either.
We’re playing with the big boys, so let’s make it look good.
During baseball season, I had seen a lot of shrubbery brought in and stored in the parking areas by Bainton Field. Now we know what they did with it. During construction of the Hill Indoor Facility, some trees were taken down. I’m happy to say they’ve been replaced in this process as the area surrounding the indoor facility has been dressed up a bit and....it’s about time. Mud holes and broken asphalt paths look awful, and we had them. At least try to dress it up. Now we have.
And there is new signage for both the baseball field and the indoor facility. But, more than the signs themselves, there is a teeny tip o’the hat to tradition. The tradition of the stone pillars that surround Voorhees Mall on the College Avenue Campus. And that they used outside of the new Academic Building there. History and tradition....know it, love it, keep it! There will be a test, damn it!
And making me even happier, the signs also have a partial sunburst from the University seal on them. Nice touch.
Well done, Pat!