A preliminary proposal is currently in review for construction of a new athletic field complex that would accommodate Pierce College baseball, softball and soccer teams.
All field facilities for Raiders sports are sourced off campus. Mount Tahoma high school serves as the baseball field for the college, and Heritage Recreation Center Sports Complex hosts the designated soccer and softball fields.
While renting these facilities, the college has to deal with falling on the priority lists and other drawbacks. A lack of ownership leaves little room for customization to cater to the needs of athletes.
Proximity is another disadvantage; students and athletes must travel off-campus for practice or to attend home games.
Since opening its doors in 2007, the gym at the Ft. Steilacoom campus has seen a significant increase in the success of Raiders basketball and volleyball winnings, as well as an increase in their recruitment allure.
Duncan Stevenson, athletic director for the college, highlights how the Health Education Center has aided in acquiring better athletes.
“The recruitment process for Pierce College’s sports has been impacted by the caliber of student athlete that will decide to play for the college,” Stevenson said. “Pierce College went from being the last choice to one of the top choices for many athletes simply because the facility was now on-site.”
The addition of new athletic fields at the Puyallup campus would create a home-turf for Pierce field sports, which include men’s and women’s soccer, women’s softball and men’s baseball. Other competition field sports, such as lacrosse and rugby, could emerge and begin to utilize the space.
Another positive impact this development could have is the outreach effect in the Puyallup community. A separate soccer field is in the second part of the proposal, and is a highly sought-after resource that currently is unable to be funded by the city.
“Adding this second field would help to generate revenue for the college, and act as a rental facility primarily for the use of the community while students can continue to use the first field exclusively,” Stevenson said.
The design of the field has much to do with sustainability as well. In the new athletic complex proposal, a single grass field will economize its space to support a baseball, softball and soccer field all in one. The grass field won’t require much maintenance due to the climate and sport rotation.
The current feasibility study must be reviewed and approved before pricing and costs can be factored and calculated. Once this is approved and finalized, a second review process is set in motion as well as a budget estimate. This would seek to source funding for the project and include all of the cost estimates involved for clearing, grading, paving, etc. Costs for a design team will also be a part of this proposal.
In keeping with Pierce College’s goal of sustainability, part of the preliminary bid proposal will include estimates of the costs involved to subcontract out the clearing of timber, and how to maximize profit on the timber to use towards the field project.
Student leadership may decide to accept and implement costs for tuition to help pay for the new field.
If all proposals are passed and reviewed without many obstacles, the fields can be estimated to be available in the spring of 2015 for baseball and softball.
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