Athletics begins 4.95 million dollar renovation

Jack Miller, Assistant Sports Editor

The UW-Whitewater athletics department has started its $4.95 million renovation to Perkins Stadium and Miller Stadium. Both will get advanced training facilities focused on improving injury treatment and rehabilitation, locker-rooms and study areas for student-athletes.

The new advancements are expected to put UW-W athletic complexes in a league of their own amongst Division III schools, and even compete with Division II, and small Division I facilities.

“It’s another way to separate us from our peer institutions by providing the best facilities we can in our region and in the country,” Athletic Director, Todd Garzarelli said.

The $4.95 million being used for the renovations was mostly raised by the UW-Whitewater athletics department through outside funding.

“For us to do another facility enhancement project both with football and baseball, it’s really kudos to those external constituents that believe in the program and want to continue to see it succeed,” Garzarelli said.

Head baseball coach John Vodenlich, one of the visionaries for the Miller Stadium project, said the new renovations will give student-athletes the necessary tools needed to excel.

Miller Stadium will receive coaching offices overseeing the stadium, a meeting room, a nutrition center and a player’s lounge.

“I believe this facility is going to compete at every division in the Midwest,” Vodenlich said. “Ultimately, that’s what I want to provide our student-athletes with. The best we can offer, so that they can become not only the best athletes, but also the best students.”

Perkins Stadium is set to get more office space for staff, a hydrotherapy tub, two plunge tubs and sports medicine areas.

“We’re really excited,” head football coach Kevin Bullis said. “We’ve been working on this for six years now. We’re very fortunate in this process to have alumni and several people pitch in.”

Although the renovations will take place solely in the football and baseball stadiums, some of the upgrades will be available for all student-athletes at UW-W.

“It’s something that will impact and be very beneficial for the experience of our student-athletes and any athlete on our campus,” Bullis said.

There’s also an expectation that the enhancements will have more than just a positive effective for current student-athletes.  Garzarelli said the upgrades are a recruiting tool and Vodenlich shared a similar sentiment.

“Most importantly, I think it [the renovations] will help us attract and retain the top-notch student-athletes in the Midwest,” Vodenlich said. “That’s ultimately how we’ve established our tradition.”

Miller Stadium is expected to conclude its renovations April 1 2017, while Perkins Stadium will begin its construction following the team’s 2017 season.  

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