The space—which will be christened The Pete Frates Center—is set to open in the summer of 2020. It will serve as an indoor training facility for both the baseball and softball teams. Plans indicate it will be roughly 31,000 square feet large, and the space will provide both teams with new locker rooms and hitting tunnels, as well as a new strength and conditioning space and an indoor turf field. Construction on the building began earlier this month, as BC seeks to further its baseball and softball facilities, which are rapidly becoming some of the best in the ACC.
Those locker rooms, as well as lounges for coaches and athletes and spaces for strength and conditioning, will be on the first of the center’s two floors—which will be approximately 15,650 square feet. The turf field, in addition to the hitting tunnels, will take up the majority of the building’s second floor. That floor is slightly smaller and will total 14,370 square feet, with 11,100 square feet of the floor being taken up by that aforementioned field.
“It’s truly special to have this state-of-the-art facility bear Pete’s name, especially after someone who was such a hard worker during his playing career at the Heights and was always looking to improve,” Director of Athletics Martin Jarmond said in the statement.
Frates’ name should be extremely familiar to Eagles fans. The Beverly, Mass., native graduated from BC in 2007 after four productive years playing in the Birdball outfield, the last of which he served as a team captain.
Since then, Frates has continued to inspire despite being diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). As one of the leaders in the fight against ALS, he popularized the Ice Bucket Challenge campaign, which takes place every August and has raised more than $220 million for ALS research to date.
Now, the 34-year-old will continue to have his legacy honored with the construction of this new facility, which will include a hospitality area for alumni and donor use on game days. It is an apt tribute for someone who has had such a large impact on the program, as well as the search for a cure for ALS and the larger baseball community.
Fittingly, it was the larger baseball community that helped make this possible. A growing number of donors, led by the Yawkey Foundation—which was established by former Boston Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey in 1976—all contributed to the project.
“Tom and Jean Yawkey’s love of amateur baseball reflected their desire to support young people at all levels playing the game that meant so much to them,” said Jim Healey, president of the Yawkey Foundation, in the statement. “We are honored to see Pete’s legacy associated with the Yawkeys, as both have made profound impacts in the community through a committed legacy of giving back.”
There are few, if any, more inspirational figures than Frates in the BC community, and with this new center dedicated in his honor, the Eagles and donors ensured once again that Frates will continue to be a role model for future generations.
“Pete embodies our Jesuit motto of ‘men and women for others’ better than anyone I know,” Jarmond noted.
Featured Image by Sam Zhai / For The Heights
Updated on 6/28/19 at 11:00 a.m.