WRITTEN BY: ANDREW EAKS | STAFF WRITER
Point Loma Nazarene University has always been blessed with beautiful locations and facilities, whether in Pasadena or Sunset Cliffs—a type of quality that perhaps hasn’t translated to parts of the athletics department.
The baseball field still sports the same grass as it did when Pasadena College moved to Point Loma in 1973, which is far beyond the normal age of a baseball field.
“The challenge with the baseball field is that it has not once been re- placed,” said Athletic Director Ethan Hamilton. “It has gotten to the point where it is not safe. It’s not level and that has been a concern for us.”
Some recent storms have also caused considerable damage to the athletic fields and the scoreboard. With the home opener next week, the athletic department has made replacing the scoreboard a top priority.
The flooding has caused the city of San Diego to force PLNU to take care of drainage issues on the baseball field as well. On May 18, a 14-week project will launch to fix these problems—a similar attempt was done to the soccer field five years ago.
“We run camps on these fields over the summer,” said Hamilton. “During the school year (our) athletics, P.E. classes, intramural sports and other activities use the fields. Most schools have more than two grass fields, so with us we are limited. We have to keep our fields safe.”
The weight room has been another top priority for the athletic department. According to Hamilton, renovation discussions are in the works, but the idea of an off-campus fitness center is not out of the question.
“We have tried to engage in conversations with Point Loma Sports Club about the possibility of off-campus use by either athletes or students and faculty,” said Hamilton. “If we could get an on-campus fitness center, I think every- one would win, not just athletes.”
Junior soccer player Ariel Oriarte said the idea of an off-campus weight room would indeed benefit the players.
“The athletic facilities are below-par. It’s hard to finish your workout in the weight room when you are conflicting with other sports and P.E. classes,” said Oriarte. “Sometimes, I can’t finish my workouts because there are too many people in there. I’m not opposed to the idea of an off-campus gym.”
However, all of these upgrades come with a lengthy price tag. A new score- board, outfield grass and weight room renovations would total over $900,000.
Hamilton was first to thank PLNU for all of their financial support, but he said more funding was needed to reach their goal of $1,000,000 for the afore- mentioned upgrades. So far the total according to www.plnusealions.com is at $117,150.
“The response has been great from the school, previous donors, alumni, and parents of current athletes, we can’t thank them enough,” said Brian Thorn- ton, Senior Associate Athletic Director. “Anyone can donate through www. plnusealins.com. If students could send out the link to anyone they think would donate that would be great. All of this money goes back to the school to benefit everyone.”
For Hamilton, Thornton or any of the school’s many athletes new facilities could mean the benefit of new equipment and playing fields for all students and faculty to use.
photos by: plnusealions.com