unpredictable hops. By the end of this year, however, Orange Coast
College will sport a completely renovated diamond -- and, possibly, a
few more easy outs.
"It's going to be pretty sweet," Cline said during practice
Thursday. "I'll come back and field a few ground balls."
This year, in association with Rossetti Architects, Orange Coast
College is starting a project to overhaul the campus' baseball field
and to erect a new fitness complex nearby. The athletic improvements
are part of the campus' master plan, a renovation project that began
when a $370-million bond measure passed in November 2002.
"We're excited about having some new facilities to service
students and meet their needs," said Barbara Bond, Orange Coast
College dean of physical education and athletics.
The two halves of the project will start at different times. Tim
Lambert, a principal with Rossetti Architects, said bids would open
next week on the baseball diamond construction, and that construction
would likely begin in June. The fitness center project, which Lambert
presented at the district's board of trustees meeting Wednesday, is
expected to enter the bidding phase in November.
Bond said that under the Master Plan, the campus had $13.9 million
to spend on all athletic renovations. After the current projects
conclude, the college plans to move the softball field across campus
and to erect a multipurpose building in its place.
The plan for the two-story fitness center, which will be directly
north of the football stadium, includes strength and cardio labs, a
fitness studio, training rooms and home and visiting lockers. Many of
these services are currently offered in smaller buildings that will
be demolished to make room for new facilities.
"It's going to be able to give students the feel of 24 Hour
Fitness and some of those other places," said Doug Bennett, the
campus' director of institutional advancement. "It'll put everything
in one area. The other facilities don't really have the square
footage and equipment they need."
Lambert estimated that construction on the fitness center would
take about one year. Both the fitness center and the baseball field
renovations must first pass inspection by the Division of the State
John Altobelli, the coach of the Orange Coast College baseball
team, called the improvements on his field "long overdue," adding
that the uneven, hardened soil on the diamond frequently led to
"When the sprinklers come on or we get heavy rains, our dugout
gets completely flooded out," Altobelli said. "The soil's gotten so
hardened over the years, the water just runs off."
Bond and Altobelli said the college plans to revamp nearly the
entire baseball field by the end of this year, adding new soil and
grass and installing new dugouts and a backstop. If the field is not
ready for play this fall, the baseball team will likely practice at
Costa Mesa High School's diamond and play all of its games on the