Thanks to significant donations to the baseball program, the infield playing surface at Millersville University’s Cooper Park will soon be converted from grass to FieldTurf.  Groundbreaking on the project is set for August 1, 2016.

The announcement kicks off a campaign to add a turf infield, additional landscaping, fencing and field lights to “The Coop.” An anonymous gift of $100,000 put the campaign well toward its goal of $300,000 and jumpstarted the renovations for a summer start.

“Turfing the infield is the first step toward a larger vision for The Coop,” said director of athletics Miles Gallagher. “Our alumni and program friends are committed to providing the best resources to our baseball program for us to continue competing for championships at a conference, regional, and national level. Not only does the turf infield provide a greater experience for our student-athletes, it provides revenue generating capabilities needed to raise scholarship dollars.”

The addition of the FieldTurf will allow the Marauders to practice and play home games earlier in the season and reduce the cost of field rentals incurred in travel. Installation of lights will also allow the student-athletes to miss fewer classes and offer the program opportunities to host NCAA regional tournaments—an experience it missed as the No. 1 seed in the field in 2013 and 2014.

“An artificial field turf infield is a must for a championship caliber program in the northeast,” said head baseball coach Jon Shehan. “It will change the way we go about our daily business; increasing efficiency of our practices, allowing us to practice when other natural surfaces are not available due to weather, and furthering our opportunity to raise funds for our program. We cannot thank our alumni and fans enough for their generosity. They are greatly increasing the opportunity of our student-athletes to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience at Millersville.”

The design for the infield includes FieldTurf spanning from the dugout entrances to the edge of the infield. The base paths and the home plate batter’s circle will be converted to FieldTurf as well. Only the pitcher’s mound will remain clay.

Contributing to the Cooper Park campaign can be a simple one-time donation of any amount or a recurring monthly gift. Numerous recognition opportunities are also available. For the full list of gift and recognition opportunities, visit the campaign website.

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