Limestone College officials are pleased to announce that the school met and exceeded its “Challenge For Champions” goal to raise $1.5 million prior to Dec. 31, 2013.
At the time of that deadline, Limestone had received gifts and pledges for athletics facility improvements totaling $1,645,905.90.
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The effort to improve athletics facilities was accelerated in the spring of 2013 when Board of Trustees member William Brown issued a challenge to the school to raise $1.5 million by December 31, 2013, in order to receive an additional $750,000 contribution. Tabbed the “Challenge For Champions,” the fund-raising effort had a time period of April 19, 2013 through Dec. 31, 2013.
The contribution will come from the Robert S. Campbell Foundation.
“We are so grateful for the support of the Robert S. Campbell Foundation and each and every one of the other donors,” said Limestone College president Dr. Walt Griffin. “The construction of a new field house, along with the additional improvements to our athletics facilities, is a dream fulfilled for our students, our staff, alumni and friends of Limestone College. The ‘Challenge For Champions’ donations will go such a long way in improving the experiences of our student-athletes and our student body as a whole. We cannot begin to say thank you enough to those who have contributed. This is a very exciting time for the Limestone College family and our community.”
The new field house building that is set to open this fall and the athletics portion of the existing Limestone Center facility will be named after Robert S. Campbell, a long-time Limestone College trustee and benefactor.
Limestone’s current “Today’s Needs … Tomorrow’s Dreams” capital campaign seeks to raise a record $12 million dollars to construct a new library on the main campus ($6 million), make various improvements to the outdoor athletics facilities ($4.8 million), and contribute to the Limestone Fund ($1.2 million).
Site preparations are now underway for the brand new athletics field house soon to be under construction. The new 23,000 square foot field house will include 455 lockers, with separate areas for football, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's lacrosse, baseball, softball and field hockey. The building will also include a laundry facility, equipment storage, a concessions area and restrooms for spectators as well as a ticket sales box office.
The natural grass at Saints Field was recently removed, and a new synthetic surface will soon go down to better accommodate the lacrosse, soccer, and field hockey teams, and new lighting will be added. That field will also be utilized by Limestone’s intramurals program, physical education department and other programs.
The baseball stadium is also getting a facelift, with a new 300-seat grandstand, press box, bullpens, and batting cages.
All those projects are expected to be completed when the 2014-2015 academic year begins in August.
The capital campaign as a whole is near the 60 percent funding mark, and as it gets closer to the finish line, a ugroundbreaking ceremony will be held for a brand new library to be constructed in a now vacant area between Montgomery Hall and the Carroll Fine Arts Building.
The new facility will replace the A.J. Eastwood Library, built in 1966, that currently has no study rooms and is so tightly crammed that thousands of books are stored in a facility in downtown Gaffney.
The new library will allow other campus programs to expand into the A.J. Eastwood building, relieving some space issues on other parts of campus.
“We emphasize excellence in academics and athletics, and those are the two major prongs of this capital campaign,” Dr. Griffin noted.
With an 18 percent increase in enrollment over last year, Limestone now counts 1,054 students at its Gaffney campus with 716 of those being student-athletes. Limestone athletics is currently the second largest athletics program in NCAA Division II, which consists of more than 300 colleges and universities.
To donate to the “Today’s Needs … Tomorrow’s Dreams” campaign, visit www.Limestone.edu/giving. For more information call the Advancement office at (864) 488-4602.
TOP PHOTO: "Challenge for Champions" amount is unveiled by Randy Hines (left) and Rick Patterson.
BOTTOM PHOTO: Limestone President Dr. Walt Griffin speaks during the announcement.