A new two-phase project will create new softball and baseball fields at Black Hawk College, Moline, to open in 2023.
The community college will relocate the softball field from the east side of the Quad-Cities Campus to the west side of campus near the current baseball field. The new ballfield complex will include restrooms, concessions, batting practice cages and press boxes, according to BHC’s website.
“I couldn’t be more excited about this project! I know this will be great for the college, our program and for the community,” said Tarah Rayos, softball head coach.
“The new facility will allow for our student-athletes to train and compete at a high level while developing their skills to continue their careers at a four-year institution,” said Arnie Chavera, BHC athletic director.
The $11-million project kicked off July 13 with demolishing and grading the current baseball site.
The first phase includes installing artificial turf on both fields along with illuminated turfed bullpens and illuminated batting practice cages. It’s scheduled to be completed in Spring 2023 in time for both teams to compete on the new playing surfaces.
The second phase will begin after the baseball and softball seasons end in spring 2023. This phase includes press boxes at each field and a separate structure that will house restrooms and a concession booth. It’s scheduled to be completed in Fall 2023.
“This complex will greatly enhance our students’ experience and allow us to bring in our community for a variety of events while showcasing our campus and facilities,” Chavera said.
Braves softball and baseball head coaches think the new ballfield complex is a home run, the college said.
“The entire renovation project will be an amazing asset overall, and I am eager to see the change,” Rayos said. “It will be hard to beat these facilities, and it will be great to have one of the nicest facilities in the Midwest.”
Josh Keim, baseball head coach, said it shows how serious the college is about investing in the student-athlete experience and competing on the national stage.
“I thank the board of trustees and administration for working so hard on this project and coming together to build the premier baseball venue in the Midwest,” he said.
The BHC softball and baseball fields have been in their current locations since 1971. The last renovation of the two fields was the addition of new scoreboards in 2008, the college said.
In addition to upgrading the college’s athletic facilities, relocating the softball field also will make room for a new Career and Technical Education (CTE) building that is part of the college’s Facilities Master Plan.