New & Improved Athletics Facilities Coming Soon To Limestone College
The transformation of athletic facilities at Limestone College is set to continue in a big way this summer.
Athletics Department officials have announced that fundraising for a $1.2 million project is in its final stages and construction is scheduled to begin as soon as the final dollars are raised.
Thanks in large part to lead gifts on two separate projects, Limestone’s athletics facilities will be receiving a major facelift. The Limestone College Victory Bell Tower, provided by a gift from Dr. Charles Cunning in memory of his wife Barbara Cunning, will be constructed to overlook the Limestone Quarry in an area that sits between the College’s athletics and academic facilities. With the idea being to connect the two sides of the campus together, the bell tower will feature seating areas, a garden, and a new lighted walkway that will travel from one side of campus to the other.
The project will also feature a prominent tower with a bell once used on the Limestone College campus that has been retired for many years. With every Limestone Saints victory, the bell will ring out Limestone’s “Blue & Gold” fight song.
“Emphasizing the combination of student and athlete is such a key part of the NCAA Division II model, and bringing our athletic complex closer to our academic buildings is a major step forward in ensuring our student-athletes are getting the best of their educational experience,” said Mike Cerino, Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics. “The beautiful Victory Bell Tower also secures the legacy of Dr. Cunning, a man who has done more for Limestone College than we could ever thank him for.”
Dr. Cunning retired from Limestone in May 2016 after 21 years of service to the College. In addition to serving in other roles during his time at Limestone, Dr. Cunning worked for a number of years as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Executive Vice President. He was granted the status of Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Vice President Emeritus of Academic Affairs during Limestone’s graduation ceremonies in the spring of last year. Dr. Cunning has been a leader and innovator throughout his time at Limestone and this project will help ensure his legacy will be kept at the College, Cerino noted.
Naming rights opportunities on the Bell Tower project are still available, ranging from $2,000 to $5,000, with general donations at any level accepted.
“This is a fantastic chance for our alumni, fans, community members, and everyone associated with Limestone College to get involved and help in celebrating someone who has dedicated decades of service to our community,” said Mike Smith, Associate Athletics Director for External Relations. “We know that our family and friends in Gaffney and beyond will want to step up and help us cement the legacy of Dr. Cunning.”
Another major project set to get underway at the same time is the construction of Shannon Hamrick Park at the Limestone baseball facility. Named in memory of the late Shannon Hamrick, this project will surround the Founders FCU Stadium entrance and transform the baseball complex into an attractive park setting.
The walkway from the Limestone College Victory Bell Tower will lead into the Shannon Hamrick Park where students and visitors will be able to enjoy an attractive garden and fountain. As a part of that project, the area along the back and sides of the baseball grandstands will be bricked-in. A private raised patio area along the third base side of the field will also be included as a new seating area for baseball spectators.
In addition, new restroom facilities will be constructed as part of Shannon Hamrick Park. The new restrooms will be built inside the park and along the walkway that will lead up to Saints Field and the Bob Campbell Field House.
“Our athletic facilities have been gradually evolving over the past several years, but Shannon Hamrick Park will put an exclamation point on what we’ve been doing and add a wow factor to the look of our entire complex,” Cerino explained. “Not only will it be a grand entrance to our facilities and a beacon to everyone who visits our campus, it will also serve a much greater purpose. This will allow us to honor the memory of Shannon Hamrick and share his life with those who come to Limestone.”
A gift to fund the new Shannon Hamrick Park was made by his parents, Barry and Judy Hamrick, to honor the memory of their son Shannon who died in 2008 at the age of 36. Hamrick was a beloved member of the Gaffney community who was invested in local sports and outdoor activities. His passion for baseball was evident as he coached Little League in Gaffney and was an avid supporter of the Saints’ program.
If anyone would like to be involved with the facility upgrades at Limestone College, they are asked to contact Smith by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (864) 488-4609.
(To see more renderings of the projects, please visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/LimestoneCollege.