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Crowder College officials and athletes work to raise funds for $1.4 million field house

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Officials and student athletes at Crowder College are working to raise funds for a $1.4 million field house.

The college's board of trustees approved the effort this week.

Coaches say the added space is greatly needed to alleviate overcrowding and to provide better indoor training options.

For student athletes, like baseball player Frank Chiolino, weather is often a setback.

"We hate practicing indoors," Chiolino said. "We would rather be on the field and getting our true work in."

With currently just a gym available for indoor training, coaches are hopeful a field house will allow for more effective training 365 days a year.

"About 30 percent of the time last year, we could not go outside and practice," said John Sisemore, Interim Athletic Director and softball coach.

The proposed facility includes an indoor practice field, training room, offices and much needed locker room space.

"Locker room facilities, right now, are shared with all sports, including baseball, softball, soccer and basketball," Sisemore said.

College officials expect the new facility to bring a positive impact by drawing in more athletes.

"It will bring in more athletes and that's important to the college, but more importantly, it gives those athletes an opportunity for an education," said Jennifer Methvin, president.

Methvin says the new training room portion of the field house would better ensure athlete safety.

"Currently, our trainer has to work out of various locker rooms, various closets and doesn't have her own dedicated space," Methvin said.

Officials hope to fund the project entirely by private donations within a year's time.

"We have decided that we want to completely raise 100 percent of the money before we turn the first shovel," Sisemore said.

Chiolino will graduate prior to any groundbreaking, but he's hopeful the field house will become a reality for those who follow him.

"I want this to happen for those people because they deserve it, and I feel like the college and athletic department deserve it," Chiolino said.

College officials plan to break ground on the field house, weather permitting, as soon as they reach their $1.4 million goal.

If you would like to make a donation to the cause, visit http://www.crowder.edu/foundation-alumni/.
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