Locker room nears completion
Special to The Messenger
A 2,800 square-foot-building has been erected at the Gerald Poole Field baseball complex on EMCC’s Scooba campus that will serve as the baseball team’s locker rooms. Funds are being sought to finish the inside of the building.
A combination locker and dressing room where players can change before and after home games has long been on the bucket list for East Mississippi Community College’s baseball team.
That dream is one step closer to fruition. A 2,800 square-foot-building has been erected at the Gerald Poole Field baseball complex on EMCC’s Scooba campus.
“We haven’t touched the interior yet, but now that we actually have a building, we are getting excited,” head baseball coach Brett Kimbrel said.
Funds are still needed to install an air conditioning unit and new flooring and equip the inside with lockers, restroom fixtures and washers and dryers needed to clean team uniforms.
Additionally, hopes are to install whirlpools and arm-care training equipment for pitchers. Plans also call for a lounge and recreation area.
The need for the building is great, Kimbrel said. Players have had no place to meet as a team or socialize when they aren’t studying or practicing.
“I think it will help keep us together as a team and it will be nice to have a place where we can get everything organized,” sophomore pitcher and outfielder Payton Mayatt said.
Coaches and athletes will also be able to review video footage filmed with cameras already installed on the baseball field.
“For the first time, we will be able to do it as a group,” Kimbrel said.
The project is being fully funded through private donations to the EMCC Development Foundation, EMCC Executive Director of College Advancement and Athletics Marcus Wood said.
The Kemper County Board of Supervisors provided about $15,000 worth of dirt work needed before the foundation could be poured.
“I would really like to thank the supervisors for stepping up and helping us out,” Kimbrel said. “You don’t get that kind of support from local elected officials everywhere.”
The EMCC Foundation has launched a fundraiser to complete the building’s interior. Among other things, Wood and Kimbrel are reaching out to former EMCC baseball players to see if they would like to sponsor a locker.
“Donors will get a plaque installed on the locker they sponsor with their name on it and the jersey number they had when they played for EMCC,” Kimbrel said.
Wood estimates the final tally for the building will be in the ballpark of $100,000.
“It will wind up being worth more than the amount we will have invested in it,” Wood said. “We have had other donations of labor and supplies. It is going to be much nicer than what we expected when we first envisioned it.”
Those interested in donating to the project or sponsoring a locker can email Wood at firstname.lastname@example.org.