Sometimes, renovations are made to improve the aesthetics of a facility. Other times, they can be the difference between a building surviving and dying.
“(The) Edwards (Gym) roof was in critical condition,” said athletic director Roger Ingles. He said this was a result of severe water damage that resulted in the roof leaking whenever it rained.
If the department hadn’t acted as quickly as it did, Ingles said, the roof could have collapsed and the entire building lost.
The athletic department received $1.1 million from the Board of Trustees, most of which came from donors, Ingles said.
Of the $1.1 million, $300,000 will be used to restore Edwards Gym.
Renovation also has started on Littick Field. The athletic department received separate donations of $42,000 and $10,000 to redo the perimeter of the ballpark, which Ingles said has been long overdue for a facelift.
“The backstop has been in place since 1976,” he said. “The wooden fence around the park was built in the 1980s by the baseball staff for $7,000.”
After the renovations are complete, the backstop will include a net similar to ones found in minor league baseball parks. The outfield fences will be chain-link and will include slats.
The Jay Martin Soccer Complex also has undergone changes recently. The most recent changes include a ticket booth on the outside of the complex and a replacement of the sod on the practice field.
“We wanted to redo the north end of the field, and the ticket booth was a part of that,” said Ingles. In the past, he said, tickets were sold and collected at a table inside Roy Rike Field. However, during late-season games it often got cold outside, which made ticket collecting a burdensome job.
Ingles said this should change with the addition of a new ticket booth.
The athletic department received approximately $100,000 to complete the project.
The most recent renovations should have a positive impact, Ingles said, but they also must be taken in context with other facility renovations over the last eight years.
Upgrades to Branch Rickey Arena and the Gordon Field House, as well as the addition of Luttinger Family Tennis Center, as just a few examples of the upgrades the athletic department has made over the past decade.
Ingles said the improvement of the facilities has had an effect on student satisfaction, and cited them as a reason that the Ohio Wesleyan student body has been ranked among the happiest in the nation.
In the 2012 edition of The Princeton Review, Ohio Wesleyan students were ranked 15th on the list of the nation’s “Happiest Students.”
Looking forward, the athletic department plans on further renovations to Edwards Gym and Pfeiffer Natatorium. This includes creating a fitness center for students that is separate from the current weight room.
All of these projects, Ingles said, should leave the school in a better place than he found it.
“The goal, when I’m gone and [President] Rock Jones is gone and some of these other officers are gone, is that we can look back and say we left everything behind in great shape.”