Bossier Parish Community College Athletics Department unveiled upgrades to its baseball and softball facilities Thursday night in grand fashion.
The College celebrated the opening of its new locker room building, located between the baseball and softball fields on the southwest side of campus, and debuted the newly installed lighting system at the ballfields. Administrators, local dignitaries, coaches, athletes and community members were treated to traditional ballpark foods – including hot dogs and Cracker Jacks – prior to the symbolic ribbon cutting.
The locker room project began in 2019 and was completed in 2020. The new facility houses both teams separately. The teams previously used locker rooms inside the Coach Billy Montgomery Gymnasium.
A generous grant was secured by Foster Campbell and the Public Services Commission to purchase and install industry leading MUSCO LED lights for the ballfields. Campbell said it was $650,000 of well spent money.
“They’re not only pretty and bright, but symbolize progress. BPCC adds a great educational benefit for all of north Louisiana,” he said. “I’m honored to be part of something that will benefit student-athletes from across the state and give them an opportunity to use something that wasn’t there before.”
Once the lights were turned on it was time to play ball! Throwing out the first pitch of the game were Foster Campbell and Billy Montgomery.
The Lady Cavaliers defeated Centenary College 14-1 in a thrilling 10 inning nighttime game under the lights.
Taking in the sights and sounds of the ballgame, Campbell said, “not only will this allow them to play at night, but these lights are energy efficient and will save the school money. It’s a state-of-the-art system…the same kind of lights at [LSU’s] Tiger Stadium. It’s a great thing and I’m glad to see people enjoying them.”
Head Baseball Coach Bobby Gilliam, Jr. said the lights have added more flexibility in their schedule already.
“We can have study hall during the day and then come out here for practice at night,” Gilliam said. “It just gives our players a whole different experience with being able to compete at night…the atmosphere out here just feels different. We appreciate Foster Campbell’s generosity and his vision for making this happen. It’s important to BPCC and we’ll be forever grateful.”
There’s still more work to be done. Lights will be installed along the walking path to the stadiums. Chancellor Dr. Rick Bateman, Jr. said these projects are a game changer for BPCC Athletics, adding that it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of Foster Campbell, Bobby Gilliam, Sr., and the BPCC Foundation.
“It really was a team effort that made these upgrades possible. The lights will allow our coaches to schedule games and practice later, which will help our student-athletes with scheduling classes. It’s going to increase safety and security and we’ll be able to use our facilities to generate revenue by hosting tournaments out here. It’s a great day when you can have better facilities for the students and find ways to generate revenue to support our mission.”