by Rachel Coleman

LIBERAL, Kan.  —  The Sharp Family Champions Center at Seward County Community College will soon begin Phase 2, following a statement of support from the college’s board of trustees Feb. 2.  The SCCC Foundation hosted a ribbon-cutting for Phase 1 of the multi-sport indoor practice facility in 2020. Since opening, baseball, softball, and tennis teams have put the facility to good use when weather interferes with outdoor practices. Phase 2 will add restrooms and locker rooms, along with space for future additions to the complex and allow public access.

            SCCC President Brad Bennett reported that an initial task force meeting with major donors, Foundation members, SCCC Chief Development Officer Kyle Woodrow, and SCCC vice-chair Marvin Chance, Jr. resulted in a vision of the path forward.

            “I’m new to this project, and I’m excited to get started,” Bennett said, requesting permission from the board to begin fundraising with the Foundation.

            “Our new president did a good job of helping start a positive conversation,” said Chance. “As a board, it’s important to communicate that we want to do our best to finish that project.  Athletics are important to the college.”

            “The SCCC Foundation continues to enable and enhance the mission of the college in its role as the supporting yet separate tax-exempt charitable entity, and we are always gratified to find alignment and support.”

            Bennett said the task force agreed to adopt a phased process towards the completion of the Champions Center.

            “The idea is to build the outer shell of Phase 2, with a particular focus on the lockers and showers and restrooms so that building is able to be opened to the public,” he said.  “We need to finalize the design of the project and put it out for bids.”

            “The comprehensive vision for the Champions Center that includes a weight room, coaches’ offices, team clubhouse, and tennis facilities is impressive,” said CDO Woodrow. “We would love to raise enough money to complete all the remaining phases of the project, but this is the next critical step toward providing greater access and usability now for our student-athletes and for our community.”

            The board voted unanimously to acknowledge their support of continued progress toward the completion of the Sharp Family Champions Center and authorized Bennett to work with the SCCC Foundation to solicit donations towards the project as presented.