Funding for a new ballpark at Cornerstone University, which will feature student dorms in a center-field structure, has been approved by the Grand Rapids (Mich.) Economic Development Corp.
The $8-million project, which includes $5.4 million from the GREDC and donations funding the rest, will feature 500-seat ballpark with the aforementioned student housing as well as new facilities for the athletic department.
The building offers 45,000 square feet of space, and roughly half of that square footage will be devoted to the residence hall. The dormitory rooms will accommodate 92 students and are being built along both sides of the athletic center, which will result in four sections of housing….
GMB Architecture and Engineering of Holland and Visbeen Associates of Grand Rapids designed the project, one of six turf fields GMB has drawn up in the region this past year. The firm, which also has an office on East Beltline Avenue, acquired Visbeen last July and the two companies decided to retain their separate identities after the acquisition was finalized….
The stadium will seat 500 fans. The athletic facility will have locker rooms for men’s baseball and women’s softball, a training center, a weight room, indoor pitching machines and batting cages, and a state-of-the-art press box.
The new ballpark will mark the return of baseball to Grand Rapid’s Cornerstone University, which last fielded a team in 1996. The Golden Eagles will return to play this season.
It is unusual to combine athletic facilities and student housing, though not without some precedent: the football stadium at St. Paul’s Macalester College, for example, hosts student housing as well. And, of course, fans know that a hotel sits beyond the center-field fence at Rogers Centre, home of the Toronto Blue Jays.