FAIRFIELD, CT(November 13, 2011) - Sacred Heart University President Dr. John J. Petillo along with university officials and the coaches and members of the Pioneer softball team gathered on Sunday for the official groundbreaking to commence the renovation and expansion of the Pioneer Park Softball Stadium.
The project, currently underway, will give the defending Northeast Conference Champion Pioneers a brand new, state-of-the-art softball facility to play their home games on campus. Scheduled to be completed this spring, the redesigned Pioneer Park will include stadium seating, a new press box, locker rooms connected to both dugouts, as well as a bullpen and batting cage along each foul line. Sacred Heart has posted a 30-15 record at Pioneer Park over the last three seasons and have captured a pair of Northeast Conference championships.
Executive Director of Athletics C. Donald Cook opened the ceremony to officially announce the renovation project. "This is a very special event of not just the softball program, but a landmark event for Sacred Heart University athletics. This is a celebration and an opportunity for us to take our softball program to the next level."
Dr. Petillo, was joined at Sunday's event by Marc Izzo, Director of University Construction, Michael Kinney, Senior Vice President for Finance & Administration and Jim Barquinero, Senior Vice President for Athletics & Student Affairs, all playing a vital role in the vision, development and execution of the stadium project. Sarah Heiman from the Campus Ministry Office also offered a blessing on the field and the project during the ceremony.
"This is a great day and great opportunity for us," commented Dr. Petillo. "Thank you to Pam and Bippy for making this possible because of the kind of team and young women we have had over the years. Student-athletes play a very key role, because the are ambassadors."
"For everyone who has played softball, this is an incredible occasion," said Barquinero. "This is evidence today of the commitment to excellence that has been brought to us. We hope to show the softball community that we will have the premier softball stadium in not only New England but throughout the Northeast. And what will resonate from that is that this institution has a commitment to excellence in all that it does."
"We are so grateful for this commitment the University has made to our program," stated co-head coach Pam London. "We are both honored and humbled by this commitment. It is going to be amazing to have our home games at one of the best venues in the Northeast."