TUESDAY, MARCH 26, 2013
Jacksonville Breaks Ground On New Softball Offices & Hitting Facility
Project the first to get started under the new JU “ASPIRE” campaign

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The first project of the athletics pillar under Jacksonville University’s $85 million ASPIRE campaign has officially begun. The University broke ground on the brand new Debbie & Fred Pruitt Softball Complex on Monday. The new construction will consist of a softball team and office building as well as a covered hitting pavilion.

“We could not be more excited about today’s historic event and what this new project will mean to the University and our softball program,” said JU Director of Athletics Brad Edwards.

“We have many friends here at JU that mean so much to the growth of the University, not only through their financial support, but through their time and attendance at many of our events. It is through the vision and backing of Fred & Debbie Pruitt along with Mark & Meredith Frisch that this project was made possible.”

The 2,300-square foot office building will sit just steps away from the JU Softball field and become the crowning jewel of the Softball Complex that is located in the heart of the Valley between Oak Hall and Swisher Gymnasium.

“Debbie and I wanted to take on a project under the ASPIRE campaign and we both love athletics,” said Fred Pruitt, a two time JU alum. “We are very appreciative of everything this University has done to enhance our life so we wanted to pay back and do something special. We are very proud of what the team has accomplished here and for what lies ahead in the future.”

The new multi-purpose building will include a team lounge and study area, a team locker room with 22 individual lockers and offices for the coaching staff are also located inside the building.

The softball hitting facility will provide team members with a covered pavilion where they can hone their hitting and pitching skills year-round. The facility will have modern batting cages, new pitching nets and a turf-covered padded concrete floor.

The modernized building will do more than serve as the future home for JU softball, it will have a lasting effect and serve as a corner stone of growth on the JU campus.

“When I first started here our players used to have to dress at home for their games and now they will have their very own locker area just a few feet away from the dugout. It’s just an amazing testament as to the growth of our program and the University and it would not have been possible without the support of the Pruitts and the Frisches,” said JU softball Head Coach Ali Higgs. “They came to me with this vision to enhance our facility and now it is becoming a reality. I cannot say thank you enough to everyone from our University and Athletic Administration to all our parents and fans that have stood behind us.”

“The 16 student-athletes on our roster bought into the JU experience without any promise of a new facility, now with this new building and hitting facility we can reward them for their commitment. It will not only improve their JU experience, but enhance that of everyone new that comes through our program.”    

The Debbie & Fred Pruitt Softball Complex is slated for a 90-day completion.

With the shovels now in the ground the anticipation of what lies ahead for JU softball is only expected to increase with each passing day
 
“It’s an honor to be standing here, words cannot even describe what is going to happen here in a couple of years,” said Karson Tuck, a junior infielder from Walkersville, Md. “This means so much to us and I cannot wait to see what happens next.”