Remodeled facilities on way

Maryann Kopp and Maryann Kopp

Bakersfield College’s baseball and softball fields are currently being remodeled and are expected by some to become one of the best facilities the state has to offer.
The remodel cost “approximately $1.7 million” according to Assistant Athletic Director and softball coach Sandi Taylor. Of the total, $250,000 was donated by Dean and Adah Gay through the BC Foundation.
“Due to their donation, the facility will be called the Dean and Adah Gay Sports Complex,” said Hannah Egland, executive secretary for Institutional Development and Foundation at BC.
The remodel will help to address issues concerning safety and handicap accessibility as well as provide a more comfortable experience for spectators in general.
“My understanding is that the softball bleachers were only temporary, so there never really has been good quality seating for spectators,” said Mike Stepanovich, the executive director of the BC Foundation.
The change will help the fields in meeting the standards of the American Disability Act, according to Stepanovich.
While this does help to create additional handicap parking near the fields, the project will also literally cut into BC’s free parking area.
“The part of the free parking that has been torn out will be where the entrance to the new facility will be along with some landscaping,” said BC Athletic Director Jan Stuebbe.
But both Stuebbe and Taylor believe that the effects of the changes will be very positive, overall, especially for those watching the games.
“On the softball field, it used to be that you couldn’t actually see the entire field unless you were sitting center behind the backstop,” Taylor began. “Now all viewers should have a definite line of sight.”
Stuebbe also added that the bleachers for both fields will match, and that the seats in the middle will be “red, high-back seats,” which will be reserved seating.
The permanent seating, however, will number 750 seats for the baseball field and 350 for the softball field, according to Stepanovich.
The softball field, while not as large as the baseball field, will also receive a new dugout and bullpens.
While both Stuebbe and Taylor expressed excitement for the new changes being made, Taylor emphasized how much she enjoyed having “both genders being taken care of in this remodel, which is what Title IX is all about.”
Title IX states that no person shall be discriminated against academically on the basis of gender. Taylor feels that sports tend to seem divided between genders, but this project involved both and did so successfully.
The remodel could also help by providing more inspiration to players, according to Stuebbe, and by possibly bolstering recruitment, according to Taylor.
The remodel is due to be finished by Dec. 19 with the landscaping expecting to be finished by Jan. 27, the tentative date for a ribbon-cutting ceremony followed by both a softball and baseball game.