FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2013
Jacksonville Dedicates Debbie & Fred Pruitt Softball Complex
President Cost, Fred Pruitt, Debbie Pruitt, Head Coach Ali Higgs and Director of Athletics Brad Edwards (Photo by Skip Tapp)
President Cost, Fred Pruitt, Debbie Pruitt, Head Coach Ali Higgs and Director of Athletics Brad Edwards (Photo by Skip Tapp)
Project the first to get started under the new JU “ASPIRE” campaign

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The first project of the athletics pillar under Jacksonville University’s $85 million ASPIRE campaign is complete as The Debbie & Fred Pruitt Softball Complex was officially dedicated on Oct. 10.

“This facility is a brilliant example of everything we do at this University. We are taking it up a notch and having excellence in everything we do,” said Jacksonville University President Tim Cost.

“The University’s ASPIRE campaign is going very well thanks to the leadership of President Cost and this is just one of the first projects  we’ve seen come out of the ground,” said Jacksonville University Board of Trustee’s Chairman Fred Pruitt. “Debbie and I wanted very much to take part in the campaign and we are pleased to be part of the first complete project.”

The new facility features a 2,300-square foot office building and a 7,000-square foot covered hitting/fielding pavilion that sit just steps away from the JU Softball field. The new multi-purpose building is highlighted by a team lounge and study area, a team locker room with 22 individual lockers and offices for the coaching staff.

“This building means everything to our program,” said Head Coach Ali Higgs. “Not only for recruiting, but for our current student-athletes to show them that hard work does pay off. It also goes to show the alumni that everything they did for the program was worth it.”

The enclosed pavilion features three retractable Burbank Sports Nets Batting Cages that can be pulled back for a full infield practice on the 60 foot by 50 foot field turf surface. The up-to-date overhead lighting allows for around the clock usage.

“Being an Athletic Director one of the things you love to see is new buildings come out of the ground,” said Director of Athletics Brad Edwards. “So much goes into the entire process, from when the dream first begins to the design and construction. To see the faces of the student-athletes as the walk in for the first time and how excited they get is beyond words.” 

The new crowning jewel of the Softball Complex is located in the heart of the Valley between Oak Hall and Swisher Gymnasium.

“From the reception area to the 60” TV in the team room to the locker area and the coaches office, everything about this place has me excited,” added Higgs. “It is everything we could have dreamt of and more.”

The modernized building located in the heart of the Valley between Oak Hall and Swisher Gymnasium. Does more than serve as the future home for JU softball, it will have a lasting effect and serve as a corner stone of growth on the JU campus.