Last week we blogged about the improved facilities at UC Riverside, thanks in large part to the efforts of Troy Percival. Well the Highlanders aren’t the only Big West school to improve their baseball facilities this year; UC Irvine’s Anteater Park is also getting a major upgrade with the completion of Newkirk Pavilion. The construction of the new 6,500-square-foot facility is in its final stages, and the Anteaters will move into their new two-story baseball offices, locker room, team room, training room, laundry room and equipment room in a matter of days. The new facility is equipped with two 42-inch plasma TVs in the locker room, 41 custom-made lockers, a 50-inch plasma TV in the team room and another 42-inch TV in the coaches’ offices. What’s interesting is how the Anteaters funded the project. The main donors were former Cal Poly player Jim Newkirk and his wife Martha, a UC Irvine graduate, but UCI supplemented those contributions with a little creative fundraising.
“All money raised for the project was raised through donors, alumni and parents,” UC Irvine coach Dave Serrano said. “The total cost for the structure alone was $2.5 million. This year’s parents all donated money to buy their sons’ lockers. All of the items for furnishing the whole building comes from money that has been donated or gift in kinds. The facility is as first-class as it comes and will help us tremendously in recruiting.”