Now that the Cal Poly football team’s locker room has been renovated, it’s nearing time for the Mustangs to turn their minds toward the facilities of the nationally ranked baseball program.
The football team settled into its new locker room in Mott Athletics Center last week, part of an overall movement that’s also outfitted the 54-year-old facility with new lockers for the volleyball team, a refinished and repainted arena floor, NBA-quality basketball hoops, an upgraded weight room and soon-to-be-installed video replay monitors for the scoreboard -— all within the past few years.
Now, with baseball season five months away, Baggett Stadium is in need of some attention, particularly since the temporary bleachers installed during the past year’s Big West Conference-championship and NCAA Regional run were cleared out after the season.
Cal Poly athletic director Don Oberhelman said the aim is to have a long-term solution in place before the season opens in February, but the bigger project on the horizon is new construction on a bigger and better baseball clubhouse.
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“My dream is we’re hosting a Super Regional with the crane and the wrecking ball sitting there for us to finish our season,” Oberhelman said. “It’s exciting. Those are great things, and I’m so happy to be talking about those things.”
Cal Poly’s recent facility upgrades, which in total also include a new video board at the swimming and diving complex, may be the highlight of Oberhelman’s tenure since joining the department in 2011 with much of the work being completed after Associate Athletic Director of Development Ashley Offermann was hired in 2012.
The football locker room project alone raised more than $300,000.
The Steve Jones Family Locker Room features 105 Hollman wood lockers, each 30 inches wide, 24 inches deep and seven feet tall, along with new ventilation, paint, MRSA-resistant flooring, doors, lighting and sound system.
Lead donors Steve and Stacey Jones gave $100,000 for the project. A group of eight others combined to commit over $100,000 more. More than 125 supporters sponsored all 105 lockers for $1,250 each, including one donor who named a locker for each of the 20 student-athletes who passed away during or since the 1960 plane crash.
Additionally, a group of former defensive backs from 1967-87 sponsored 19 lockers, an effort spearheaded by former Mustangs head football coach Jim Sanderson.
The project expanded the floor space of the facility by 500 square feet.
“The new locker room is a humongous upgrade,” senior linebacker Nick Dzubnar said in a news release.
“We have more space with larger, more comfortable, and better lockers. Cal Poly has been improving all of its facilities and did a great job with our new locker room.”
Steve Jones is a Cal Poly alumnus who now serves as CEO of Universal Services of America, an industry leading security and janitorial services company headquartered in Santa Ana.
Jones graduated from Cal Poly in 1992 and played football for the Mustangs after transferring from Saddleback College.
As for Baggett’s bleachers, Oberhelman said there are multiple proposals to consider with a range of costs and looks. For example, Oberhelman said, a grouping of prefabricated bleachers would cost “a few hundred thousand dollars.”
Custom-built bleachers designed to better fit the specifications of the stadium range up to $1,000,000.
The temporary bleachers used last season increased the seating capacity to just under 3,000, and the stands were packed full as the Mustangs hosted the first regional in program history.
“I’ve been saying we’ve got to be able to get in 3,000,” Oberhelman said, “but at the end of the day, if we save a little money and make it 2,900, we just have to find that sweet spot in terms of how it looks and what it’ll take our capacity to.”