TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Leaders at Tallahassee Community College say they are putting your tax dollars to work.
They are combining $1 million from the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency with their own fund raising to revamp their baseball, softball and basketball facilities.
“It’s a pretty awesome thing for our community,” said Heather Mitchell. She is vice president of institutional advancement. “We haven’t renovated a lot the facilities that we have on campus since they were built.”
That wear and tear shows on the baseball and softball fields.
Now, TCC is doing something about it. Blueprint gave them the go-ahead for the money in 2021.
“For every dollar that we ask for, we will raise $2,” Mitchell explained. “This will end up being a $3 million project split between our baseball and softball and our basketball.”
Part of the plan is to connect the softball and baseball fields. It’s expected to take about three years to finish.
“I think it’s amazing,” said TCC’s new baseball coach, Bryan Henry. “When you bring those kids in they’re staying in hotels, they’re eating food. They’re shopping. It’s a win-win for everybody,” Henry added.
With the upgrades, more tournaments can be held at TCC. That, in turn, is expected to infuse more money into the local economy.”
“We think that we’ll be able to bring between $9 and $10 million additional with bringing tournaments to our community,” Mitchell added. That estimate is per year.
“That’s a big thing,” said Chuck Moore. He is TCC’s director of athletics. “The community is investing in us. We’re going to invest back in them.”
I asked him to get specific about the upgrades they’ve got in the works.
“From scoreboards to fencing to fielding to the field houses for both baseball and softball,” Moore said, “basketball needs the locker rooms and the front foyer to come in.”
With the baseball field house already done and plans coming together for the fields themselves, this team says they’re excited to attract new talent, student and visitors to the Big Bend.
Mitchell said they’ve raised about $1.6 million toward their $3 million total so far. The softball field house is being renovated in September. It will open in January. Another half million they’re working to raise will go toward athletic scholarships.
TCC’s not the only school getting money from Blueprint.
Earlier this year, they approved $20 million for renovations at FSU’s Doak Campbell Stadium.
In 2020, they approved $10 million for renovations at FAMU’s Bragg Memorial Stadium.