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Oklahoma softball: OU Board of Regents set to approve new softball facility on Tuesday

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Softball Fans

Sooner fan cheers during the first game of the NCAA Women's World Series May 31.

Just over a year ago, University of Oklahoma Vice President and Athletics Director Joe Castiglione announced the completion of master plans for the renovation of OU's Softball Complex. With the OU Board of Regents set to meet on Tuesday, June 19, they will be asked to approve and authorize preparation for a brand new softball facility — not the renovations. 

According to agenda item 26 for the OU Norman campus, the new facility is proposed to be located on the vacant land at the northeast corner of South Jenkins Avenue and Imhoff Road. The current location of OU's Softball Complex was deemed "not best served investing further" after an investigation of the spatial requirements for expansion, adjacent site limitations, and the potential for adjacent future improvements.

Oklahoma's athletic administration studied the findings and found it beneficial to construct a new softball facility. University of Oklahoma Senior Associate Athletics Director Kenny Mossman confirmed the plans that the Board of Regents will consider and vote on. 

The master plan for the renovations of the current softball complex included an expansion of the seating bowl behind home plate, a shade canopy over the fixed seating to provide shade and an expansion of the press box to roughly triple its size. Mossman confirmed that these plans were "specific to the existing facility only" and not the proposed new softball complex. 

With the new proposed location, the notes say that it would allow enough space for the requirements and "programmatic facility elements, would potentially make further use of adjacent athletics facilities, and would also take advantage of existing parking in the immediate vicinity."

The new facility is anticipated to include spectator seating, fan amenities, team facilities, parking and other site improvements that a new softball complex requires and needs. 

The estimated budget of $22 million for the project was approved on the May 2018 campus master plan. Funds to cover the professional services for the initial phase for the project are available via private sources and within the athletics department capital accounts. 

The OU Board of Regents will meet at 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 19 at the Robert M. Bird Library on the Health Sciences Center Campus in Oklahoma City. 

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