The Weyerhaeuser Foundation has issued a $12,000 grant supporting Northwestern State athletics through a donation to the NSU Athletic Association toward the recently-completed Lady Demon softball grandstand renovation.
The project is being underwritten completely by funds outside of the NSU Athletic Department budget - either student fees designated for facility improvements or private donations. The total cost of the project, including architectural fees, was about $500,000, said NSU director of athletics Greg Burke.
"The Weyerhaeuser Foundation's support of the NSU softball grandstand project, as well as past support for other projects, is greatly appreciated and helps position the NSU athletic program for success," said Burke.
"We are just beginning to scratch the surface in terms of feeling the impact of this softball project, as evidenced by the venue the new construction provided for the Southland Conference Tournament in May. Competing successfully at the Division I level takes an investment by the local community and Weyerhaeuser has always been there for local causes like this," he said.
Burke expressed great appreciation for the endorsement and support provided by Steve Story, the local Weyerhaeuser plant manager.
Consideration for the Weyerhaeuser Foundation funding projects of this nature includes the fact that NSU is the educational, economic and cultural engine for a 12-parish area surrounding Natchitoches.
Naming opportunities starting at $1,000 to permanently name a chair back are still available by contacting Burke or Adam Jonson, the executive director of the NSU Athletic Association, at 318-357-5251.
The original bleacher-style seating at the Lady Demon Softball Complex was installed in when the facility opened in 1991. A small press box was added atop the grandstand in 1998.
The renovation project featured a grandstand with ADA-compliant seating for 400, 160 of which are chair backs. The grandstand is partially covered, providing welcome shade for day games.
It included relocation of the seating area up to the backstop, expanding and updating the press box to meet current media/technology needs, and adding a concession stand behind and underneath the seating area. The original concession stand, which was located in the softball locker room building, was eliminated two years ago as part of a locker room expansion project.
In addition to being used for NSU softball practices and competitions - including the 2013 Southland Conference Tournament won by the Lady Demons, propelling them to the NCAA Tournament - the facility is the site of local school, charity and organization-run events.