COLUMBIA - After 30 years of playing its home games on Rangeline Road, the Columbia College softball team will be relocating to a new field this season.
Because a new science building will be constructed where the softball field currently sits, the Cougars will play most of their home games on the black field of the Antimi Sports Complex at Cosmopolitan Park.
The team will be able to use the on-campus field until construction begins on April 1. Its final home games on the field will take place in a doubleheader on March 20.
The athletic department plans to eventually build a new softball field on campus in the space north of Southwell Complex.
Although Columbia College already owns the land necessary for the new field, it would need to build a parking garage to replace the lot that is currently on that land, Columbia College athletics spokeswoman Cindy Fotti said.
Fotti said the plans will likely not be addressed until the completion of the science building, slated for fall 2013. The building of a new field will depend largely on fundraising efforts.
"Columbia College has never been the type of institution that wants to put ourselves in the position where we might be hurting for funds," she said. "We want to make sure we're making the right decision for everybody and not just the athletic department."
With Cosmo Park located roughly three miles from campus, coach Wendy Spratt said she has concerns about students making it to games.
"The biggest thing is to get students to come," she said. "I think all the other fans that normally come to a game drive anyway, so a couple miles isn't going to deter them any."
Spratt said she had confidence that the athletic department would work to promote the games and encourage students to make the trip.
Fotti said the department is currently focused on improving the field.
"We're more worried about making sure it'll be a great place for us to play and a quality place for our athletes," she said.
Spratt said the team would try to make the field its own by putting up banners and moving its tarp to Cosmo Park.
"Obviously, it's not as good as us being here on campus, but at least we have a nice facility to go to," she said.