2012-12-21 / Front Page

Limestone College a third of the way home in its academic, athletics facilities capital campaign

By SCOTT POWELL Ledger Staff Writer spowell@gaffneyledger.com

This architectural sketch shows the planned 600-seat lacrosse and soccer stadium that is part of proposed $4.8 million athletic facility improvements included in a $12 million Limestone College capital campaign. This architectural sketch shows the planned 600-seat lacrosse and soccer stadium that is part of proposed $4.8 million athletic facility improvements included in a $12 million Limestone College capital campaign. The future Limestone College football stadium is part of an ongoing $12 million capital campaign to provide academic and athletic facilities to support a 1,200-student enrollment on campus.

Limestone College announced a capital campaign in May called “Today’s Needs...Tomorrow’s Dreams.” The college has raised about $4 million to date in the fundraising effort.

The capital campaign will raise money to build a proper on-campus stadium for Limestone College home football games as part of $4.8 million in proposed athletic facility improvements. Field turf and lights are scheduled to be installed this fall at the current Saints Field where lacrosse and soccer games are played. The school’s initial football season is in 2014.

On the academic side, the college will use $6 million to build a new library to replace A.J. Eastwood Library. There is also a plan to replace the current dining hall and build new residential halls to provide more student housing to accommodate a growing campus.

Limestone College had 885 full-time day students enrolled for the fall of 2012 semester. This figure included 76 international students, including 25 from Canada and 14 from the British Isles. There are also nine students from Zimbabwe, lured by the opportunity to play field hockey and enroll in the college’s performing arts programs.

Limestone College President Dr. Walt Griffin said the capital campaign projects and a strategic plan initiative to add football are part of an overall effort to significantly increase student enrollment over the next three years.

“Limestone College currently has one of the largest athletics departments within NCAA Division II with 610 student-athletes competing in 24 intercollegiate sports,” Griffin said at a Dec. 14 press conference. “Football has been added as our 25th sport as part of a 4-point strategic initiative that is geared towards increasing our on-campus enrollment from 900 to 1,200 students.

“This strategic initiative includes a new scholarship program for female students, the establishment of a marching band, an expanded competitive cheerleading program and the creation of a dance team to perform at our athletic contests and the addition of football as an intercollegiate sport.” he said.

The new library will be built on the main campus between the Carroll Fine Arts and Montgomery Hall buildings. The library will more than double the size of the present A.J. Eastwood Library and eliminate the present need for Limestone to store boxes at an offcampus storage facility.

Plans include a writing center, math and computer laboratories, advanced computer and audio visual technology, an information commons area, reading areas and a cafe.

The athletics portion of the capital campaign calls for a lacrosse and soccer field complex for 600 fans with restroom and concession facilities. The facility can be expanded to seat 1,200 fans.

A new baseball stadium complex will be built into the existing bank above the quarry with 400 seats for fans. A new softball complex with stadium seating will provide seating for 200 fans.

There will be an allweather turf complex available for use by all Limestone students and will serve as the home stadium for field hockey. The soccer and lacrosse teams will practice at the complex.

A new locker room facility is also scheduled to be built behind the Limestone Center, which houses the college’s theater and athletic departments.

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