The East Stroudsburg University and the East Stroudsburg University Foundation have been awarded a grant of $250,000 from the ESSA Bank and Trust Foundation to support the Community Athletic Complex Improvement Project at Creekview Park in Stroudsburg.
The funding will assist with renovations and improvements to the ESSA and Hughes Field Complex at Creekview Park.
The Community Athletic Complex Improvement Project was launched in June 2016 as a partnership involving the ESU Department of Athletics, the ESU Foundation, Stroudsburg Little League and Stroud Township.
The enhancements, including the installation of artificial turf made with sand and organic infill, will expand the usage of the athletic complex to over 230 games per season, include the Stroudsburg Little League and ESU’s NCAA Division II baseball and softball teams, and increase grandstand seating to accommodate approximately 1,000 spectators.
The project will also include two sets of bullpen mounds for both the baseball and softball fields, construction of home and away dugouts at both fields, designated hitting cages for each field and overhead netting to protect fans from foul balls.
The upgrades are necessary to meet regulations for NCAA competitions by ESU’s teams and will position the complex to host regional baseball, softball and little league tournaments. The increased activities will attract first-time visitors, athletes and families to Monroe County, boosting the local hotel, restaurant and tourism economy.
“This important investment reflects the ESSA Bank and Trust Foundation’s deep and long-standing support of the student-athletes of ESU, local youth athletic programs and residents of Monroe County. Through this initiative we have created a partnership with ESSA that reaches out beyond our campus boundaries and that will have an impact on the lives of the people in our region,” said ESU President Marcia G. Welsh, Ph.D.
“The ESSA Bank and Trust Foundation partnership with the ESU Foundation has expanded due to their commitment to our shared goal: to improve the quality of life in our community. In addition to our ongoing support of its students through annual scholarships, the student-athlete population at both the university and our local community league participants become the beneficiaries of the project – the refurbishment of the ESSA and Hughes Field Complex in Stroudsburg,” said Suzie Farley, vice president, ESSA Bank and Trust Foundation.
The joint project will assist ESU recruitment efforts and strengthen the partnerships among ESU, the Stroudsburg Little League, Stroud Township, Monroe County’s School Districts and more than 50 business sponsors and advertisers that support the little league and collegiate competitions.
“Supporting such positive opportunities is what ESSA’s charitable foundation is all about bringing our financial support to projects that benefit the community at large. Our board congratulates the ESU Foundation and their dedication to serving our community,” added Farley.
“We are incredibly grateful for our continued community partnership with the ESSA Bank and Trust Foundation. The impact of ESSA’s support for this project extends far beyond the ESU campus. It will help create a premier outdoor year-round baseball/softball complex that serves area youth, high school and collegiate athletes. We share the same passion for improving the quality of life for the surrounding community through the powerful life lessons of sports,” said Josh Looney, ESU Director of Athletics.
The Community Athletic Complex Improvement Project partnership calls for the ESU Foundation, in conjunction with ESU’s Department of Athletics, to raise $1.8M.
“Athletes of all ages deserve a first-class facility in which to play. This funding takes us one step closer to making this complex a reality,” said Rich Santoro, executive director of the ESU Foundation.
The remaining funds will be raised from additional grants, ESU alumni, friends, corporate and community fundraising efforts.
Construction is scheduled for completion in August 2017, in time for ESU’s fall 2017 semester when the baseball and softball programs will be preparing for the spring 2018 season.
Those interested in more information about this philanthropic initiative may contact Rich Santoro, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (570) 422-3333.
To learn more about the project, please visit http://www.esubaseballsoftball.com/.