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New Baseball Hitting Facility Opening Delayed by One Month

Harvard's new covered hitting and pitching pavilion is still under construction near the Harvard Stadium.
Harvard's new covered baseball and softball hitting pavilion—originally slated to open in mid-March—will now instead open at least a month late near the end of April, a delay at least one student-athlete called disappointing.

Three weeks after the facility was supposed to be ready to welcome teams returning from spring break, the pavilion's metal frame and roof stand nearly completed to the left-field side of O’Donnell Field, accompanied by a smattering of construction vehicles and equipment. The fences depicted in initial renderings of the facility and the turf ground cover are yet to be installed.

Inclement weather set back the construction of the facility by a few weeks, according to College spokesperson Aaron M. Goldman. Goldman wrote in an email that the facility will open in late April.

“We look forward to opening the new hitting facility adjacent to the baseball and softball fields later this month,” Goldman wrote. “The three-season, covered facility will provide greater opportunity for our teams to practice hitting and pitching during inclement weather.”

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Some members of Harvard's baseball and softball teams said they were unaware of the revised timeline for the facility’s opening. Hunter B. Bigge ’20, a pitcher for the baseball team, said the delay—coupled with recent storms—has limited the team’s ability to practice.

“Our hitting facility that’s supposed to go up keeps getting delayed and delayed and delayed,” Bigge said. “This past week we didn’t really have anywhere to practice. We had to go on the indoor track in like 30-minute bunches at a time.”

Softball captain Kaitlyn L. Schiffhauer ’19 said her team has also had to practice on the indoor track this spring. She added the softball team has used the indoor track during inclement weather for years.

“Having to practice indoors has always been an adjustment we make during our season,” Schiffhauer said. “The track and field team has been wonderfully accommodating to us, and we have some cages installed inside there that we have used for a number of years.”

While the indoor track facility gives the teams room to practice, Bigge said the space places limitations on their drills the baseball team would not face in the new facility.

“There was snow on our field, the facility wasn’t ready, the bubble’s down—so, it’s always a weird week after spring break,” Bigge said. “We really need this facility to be able to do the bare minimum.”

—Staff writer Bryan Hu can be reached at bryan.hu@thecrimson.com.

—Staff writer Madeleine R. Nakada can be reached at madeleine.nakada@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @maddynakada.

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