East Texas Baptist University’s Tiger Softball Clubhouse received an Outstanding Designs Award in the Sports Stadium/Athletic Facility category of the current American School & University Architectural Portfolio, the sourcebook for award-winning and outstanding education design.
“This award recognizes our effort to emulate Christ in our competition, facilities, interactions, and beyond,” ETBU President J. Blair Blackburn said. “The goal of this project was to bring honor and glory to God through Christ-centered, discipleship-focused sports. Every contact with our Tigers is an opportunity for them to minister and be the hands and feet of Jesus to others. Through the construction of this sports facility, we advance the gospel of Jesus as we bring national attention to the Christ-centered mission and core values of our University.”
American School & University’s jury of four architects gathered from around the country to judge this year’s Architectural Portfolio. Like the juries before it, this jury established its own set of criteria for determining winning designs. Awarded projects exhibited clarity of concept and innovation in response to the specifics of the program, users, community, and site.
“Our program is honored to be recognized by American School & University for an outstanding design for the new Tiger Softball Clubhouse,” ETBU Vice President for Athletics Ryan Erwin said. “At ETBU, we strive for excellence in all aspects of the University. We have been blessed to provide our student-athletes with a first-class facility, which will enable our coaching staff to continue to recruit exceptional student-athletes, who desire to be in a Christ-centered program. Without the continued support of our administration, alumni, coaches, and staff, it would not have been possible for us to construct one of the top softball facilities in the country.”
With Classical Georgian architecture akin to ETBU’s campus, the sustainable design features modern, energy efficient air, lighting, and window systems. Construction materials included locally sourced lumber from the East Texas Piney Woods. ETBU also installed artificial turf made of recycled plastics and rubber for water conservation around the clubhouse and on the adjacent Taylor Field, along with padded outfield walls for player safety and seating for an enhanced fan experience. The Tiger Softball Clubhouse affords ETBU to engage the community through offering sports clinics for local children, conducting youth camps, and hosting high school games.
“I have helped in hosting high school games and tournaments at Taylor Field. It is rewarding to see others enjoy the facilities and desire to be a part of the program that has influenced me so much,” ETBU junior Child Development major Grace Camacho shared. “My teammates and coaches have pushed me to become a better person and friend. I can go to my coaches with any problem, knowing they are willing to help. I will never forget the relationships formed at Taylor Field and in the Tiger Softball Clubhouse.”
The Clubhouse provides a place to build community and challenges students to invest in their holistic development. From innovative technology to artistic décor, the Clubhouse was created to empower and equip student-athletes to fulfill their potential. Team accolade exhibits and Nike game-day displays enable current and prospective Tigers to celebrate program accomplishments and aspire to become better in the classroom and on the field.
“Our clubhouse has a unique design that allows us to showcase our history and has given the program new opportunities,” ETBU Head Softball Coach Janae Shirley said. “This building has provided a place for us to grow and develop our players spiritually, academically, and athletically, and we are blessed to call it home.”
Tiger Softball alumni and current student-athletes are grateful for the support and encouragement of those, who generously gave and have recognized the hard work and success of the program.
“By investing in Taylor Field and the Tiger Softball Clubhouse, donors also invested in our success,” ETBU sophomore Criminal Justice major Nikki Gil commented. “As players, it makes us feel valued. I am especially thankful for the clubhouse in a spiritual sense, because I remember praying over the building before it was constructed. It’s been everything we prayed for and more.”
American School & University annually honors education organizations and architects for their accomplishments. Awards include the Educational Interiors Showcase, the Architectural Portfolio, and the Green Cleaning Award for Schools & Universities. The nation’s school and university administrators, as well as education architects, turn to American School & University for how-to features, insight, industry exclusive reports and research on the planning, design, construction, retrofit, operations, maintenance, security and management of education facilities. The projects featured will appear online at www.schooldesigns.com.