Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo announced on Monday plans to renovate Mike Sheppard, Sr. Field as well as the four tennis courts located within neighboring Ivy Hill Park.
The projects, which are set to be completed in September – just in time for fall sports – will benefit Seton Hall’s softball and tennis programs, as well as the public.
“Essex County and Seton Hall University have enjoyed a long relationship, especially in this park,” DiVincenzo said in a press conference on Monday. “While our children and residents will enjoy the new facilities, Seton Hall’s athletic teams will benefit from the improved playing conditions. We are pleased to be partnering with the University on this latest phase.”
Seton Hall Athletic Director Pat Lyons added “The improvements to Mike Sheppard, Sr. Field and the tennis courts will be the latest facility project our department has taken on over the last few years as we continue to show our recruits, fans, students and alumni that Seton Hall University is the perfect place to get a world-class education and compete at the highest level of athletics.”
The Seton Hall softball team has called Mike Sheppard Sr. Field home for the past ten years. The field is owned and run by Essex County and is named after Seton Hall’s former head baseball coach. The enhancements to the facility will include new synthetic turf, raised bleachers for better viewing angles, a press box, batting cages within both the home and away bullpens, bench seating and cubbies in both dugouts. Additional seating will increase capacity to 700 people as well.
The four tennis courts will be reconstructed. Once finished, there will be a brand-new playing surface, coating, fencing, nets, trash receptacles, and lights for the Hall’s and public’s use.
These renovations are among many that have occurred in the past two years. In this time, the athletics department has opened the Charles W. Doehler Academic Center, the Center for Sports Medicine, the newly upgraded recreation & fitness center, the new Varsity Weight Room, the Varsity Film Room and the new Varsity Locker Rooms. A new LED scoreboard was also added to Owen T. Carroll Field.
Olivia Mulvihill can be reached at email@example.com and on twitter @OliviaMulvihill.