MADISON, Wis. --Construction started this afternoon on the University of Wisconsin Athletic Department's new, on-campus indoor softball practice facility. The Irwin A. and Robert D. Goodman Foundation Inc. made a $1.8 million gift toward the $2.3 million facility, which will be located immediately adjacent to the Goodman Diamond. The project is being funded entirely by private gift dollars.
Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez, softball head coach Yvette Healy, Goodman Foundation representatives E.G. Schramka, Howard Sweet and Steve Morrison, several members of the UW softball team and others marked this important moment with a groundbreaking celebration earlier today.
"It's an exciting day for our entire department," Alvarez said. "I want to extend a heartfelt thanks to the Goodman Foundation. Without its generosity, this project simply would not have happened."
At the recommendation of the UW Athletic Department, the UW Board of Regents recently approved the naming of the facility as the "Irwin A. and Robert D. Goodman Softball Training Center" in appreciation of their foundation's very generous gift to this project.
"The Goodman Foundation is proud to continue the association that Irwin and Bob Goodman had with the UW women's softball team," said Schramka, executive director of the Goodman Foundation.
"We know that this training center will provide many benefits for current and future student-athletes as well as keep the softball team competitive in the Big Ten and nationally."
"This facility will have a dramatic and positive impact on our day-to-day training, and assist heavily in the recruitment of future Badger softball players," remarked Healy. "We are so grateful."
The facility will address the immediate facility needs of the UW women's softball team by providing an indoor softball training center, located just west of the current Goodman Diamond. The facility will provide UW softball players with the opportunity to practice on an infield diamond throughout the year. The 16,500-square-foot center will include many state-of-the art amenities including:
• Regulation-size infield diamond • Indoor batting cages • Team conference room • Team lounge • Enhanced team locker room • Enhanced athletic training area
Irwin and Robert, who passed in 2009 and 2010, respectively, were longtime area businessmen and Bob was an avid softball player. Over the years, the brothers made a big impact on UW Athletics generously providing funds to support a host of needs. The Madison jewelers provided $500,000 of the original $1.2 million to build the "Goodman Diamond", which opened in 1999. In 2002, the Goodmans also established an endowment which annually provides a scholarship to a UW softball player.
The Goodman Softball Training Center is expected to have a grand opening in February 2013.
For more information on the Goodman Softball Training Center, please contact the Athletic Development Office at 608-262-1000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.