football Edit

Battle says baseball renovation on track

One of the first major decisions Bill Battle made after becoming the University of Alabama director of athletics was to assess Sewell-Thomas Stadium and where it stood amongst its Southeastern Conference peers.
It didn't take him long to learn that a change was needed, and Battle went to work, eventually getting the board of trustees to approve a major $30 million renovation that will break ground as soon as 2014 season ends.
And even when the architectural drawings changed causing the cost to rise to $35 million, Battle didn't back off the plan, even if he did wince a bit.
"When we started the process, the budget from the architect was $30 million and we essentially took that to the board, which they approved the first step which was to go on with the drawings and put it out for bid," Battle said. "As the working drawing evolved the cost went up fairly dramatic. Our fundraising effort we thought was doing really well. We're up to about $5 million now, but it went from $30 to $35 million so we're back to square one."
Battle said the university has put in a bid to host a NCAA regional, meaning that construction could possibly be delayed.
"Our goal is to host regionals," Battle said. "The stadium renovation won't be ready to play next year anyway. It's going to be summer of 2015 when it's finished, but we won't play in the fully renovated stadium until the 2016 season."
Reach Aaron Suttles at aaron@tidesports.com or at 205-722-0229.