Northeast Alabama Community College has submitted initial plans to the Alabama Community College System to establish a softball team and build a women’s softball stadium on campus.
“This is a first step,” said David Campbell, president of NACC. “It is our belief that given the popularity of women’s softball in our area and in the state and given the quality of players that we have in our area, this would be quite a success.”
The college, located in Rainsville, has submitted renderings of the softball stadium that were drawn by architectural firm McKee and Associates. The initial estimated cost of the stadium is $5.2 million and it would have lights for night time games and artificial turf.
Campbell says that the college has focused on workforce training over the last several years, adding more than 20 career tech programs. Soon construction will begin on a workforce training center, a $25 million project that is being paid for through a state bond issue initiated by the Alabama Community College System.
“We now can use our reserve funds to establish the softball program and build a stadium,” said Campbell.
The stadium would be constructed just south of the campus’ walking/nature trail. “Many people in the area and our students walk the trail daily,” said Chad Gorham, dean of instruction at NACC. “We also would host women’s summer softball camps. We think it is very important to involve our community in activities.”
High schools in the area could also use the stadium for games, if it fit their schedules.
After the program and stadium are officially approved, NACC would begin the process of hiring a coach and recruiting and signing players. The college would join the other Alabama community colleges in the Alabama Community College Athletic Association, headed by Director Dean Myrick.
“There are a lot of hurdles in this process,” Campbell noted, “such as rising cost of construction. However, I would love to see this all in place in a couple of years.”
Northeast Alabama Community College serves some 2,650 students.