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Part Two in a Series on the Construction and Renovation of Reese Smith Field

December 26, 2005 · MT Media Relations
Phase II is currently underway in the construction and expansion of Reese Smith Field, but only in an infancy stage.

This phase calls for a new structure altogether on the existing site, a 3,000-seat facility equipped with approximately 1,000 chairback seats and fan amenities such as new restrooms, a new and expanded concession stand, as well as the possibility of luxury suites alongside a new press box.

"The next phase is much-needed amenities for fans," head coach Steve Peterson said. "Right now our facility cannot service the large crowds we have. We need to do this for the fans."

The project has been talked about for several years, but new Director of Athletics Chris Massaro, on the job since May 1, has made it a top priority for the athletic department and baseball program in particular.

Architects have been selected via the bid process, with the firms of Cooke, Douglas, Farr and Lemons, Ltd., in Jackson, Miss., combining with Moody-Nolan, Inc., in Nashville to provide architectural and engineering expertise to the project. The first meeting took place on campus last week, a very productive gathering of many different parties.

Cooke, Douglas, Farr and Lemons, Ltd., has an extensive resume in stadium design and construction, especially in college baseball with the likes of Auburn (Plainsman Park), Ole Miss (Oxford-University Field) and Baylor (Baylor Ballpark) in the last 10 years among the firm's projects. CDFL is also part of an ongoing project at Ft. Campbell, Ky., a re-development of barracks on the base.

"We enjoy working and designing sports facilities and have really found a niche with baseball stadiums," said David Lemons, Principal and architect on the project for CDFL. "Our company has had great success in college baseball especially with Ole Miss, Auburn and Baylor the most notable projects."

Michael Burris and Brian Tibbs from Moody-Nolan were also part of the meeting, a wish-list compilation of ideas presented by all of the parties present for the architects to begin the design. Moody-Nolan has offices in Columbus, Ohio, Cincinnati and Indianapolis as well, with projects including the indoor football training facility at Oklahoma, the Tennessee State University Performing Arts Center and The Ohio State University's track complex, Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, all completed in the last five years.

"Our firm has been very involved with sports and recreation with a number of projects on our resume," Tibbs said. "CDFL and Moody-Nolan have many similar plans with athletic fields and facilities.

"I really think this is a very good pairing. We've completed many designs at Tennessee State, giving us a real understanding of the process of building facilities in the state of Tennessee and specifically with the Tennessee Board of Regents."

The two firms will take information from last week's programming meeting and compile it into one wish list to be presented in mid-January. The next part of the project will involve early conceptual drawings and the announcement of the first-ever capital campaign for athletics at the Groundhog Day Luncheon, February 2, at the James Union Building.

"This is really an historical movement for baseball and the athletic department," Peterson said.

Massaro says the two architectural firms meet Middle Tennessee needs for a new ballpark with their past experience and reputation.

"We're very pleased with our architects. They have designed other great college venues, two of the best with Auburn and Baylor," Massaro said. "We're excited to bring their expertise to this project.

"Our program has great leadership and tradition and the thing it is lacking is a facility to match. By opening pitch 2008 our goal is to have that corrected."

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