Southern unveils plans for new Jaguar Park
BATON ROUGE - Officials from the Southern University System Foundation joined administrators from Southern University Baton Rouge to unveil plans for facility improvements for SU athletics during a public ground-breaking ceremony Monday.
Jaguar Park, which is a two-phase facility improvement project scheduled for completion in 2016, includes the development of a new soccer field and fieldhouse, field lights and a storage facility complete with a video tower overlooking the football practice field. Plans also call for Jaguar Park to be surrounded by a mesh fence with 40 brick columns which can sponsored through the contribution to the foundation.
The project, which is privately funded by the SU System Foundation, also includes the relocation of the track and field discuss circle.
"We know that we have our challenges here in the state with the funding for higher education," said Alfred Harrell, Executice Director of the SU System Foundation. "Once we get that funding from the state legislature and our alumni, who have been working very hard, we are quite optimistic that we will be able to do our part [in regards to] this particular project."
Estimated at $500,000, Jaguar Park aids SU athletics ongoing efforts to display and maintain NCAA compliance as a part of the departments gender quity plan.
"I am very thankful for the foundation, the president of the foundation Demoine [Rutledge] and [executive director] Al [Harell]," said Roman Banks, interim athletics director. "Through these budget cuts and in these tough times, you need a big brother and this foundation has adopted us."
Head women's soccer coach Courtnie Prather stood among the university dignitaries in white "True Blue" hats and plunged one of the gold plated shovels into a pile of the old surface where her programs new home will be located.
"We recognize that when you have a place you can call your own and that's where you train and you show up and its your soccer goals and its your lines on the field, you take a little bit more ownership, said Prather.
"When you have a little more ownership, you take accountability into how you train, into what you give to your team and your program everyday and also into the legacy you'll leave behind upon your graduation."
Propective donor interested in securing one of the 40 columns set to align Jaguar Park are encouraged to contact the SU System Foundation for more details.