Regents approve Donald R. Shepherd Softball Center

Submitted by Wolverine Devotee on October 22nd, 2012 at 5:09 PM

Pretty nice that a great program like softball is getting really nice upgrades. Here is the MGoBlue release-

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan Board of Regents approved the construction of a new softball center and the appointment of an architect for the project, announced today (Friday, Oct. 19) during their annual monthly meeting held at the U-M Flint campus. The $4 million Donald R. Shepherd Softball Center will replace the current softball services building adjacent to the Wilpon Complex's Alumni Field.

"The commitment that the University of Michigan is making to our softball program is second to none," said head softball coach Carol Hutchins. "The Donald R. Shepherd Softball Center will give our program what we need to continue our success at the Big Ten and national levels. This new facility, coupled with Alumni Field, will give us one of the premier softball venues in the country. We are excited for what the future holds for Michigan softball."

The new softball center will be built on the footprint of the existing building that houses the team locker room, meeting space and an athletic medicine area. The 10,000-square-foot facility will include locker rooms for players and coaches, staff offices, a team meeting room, athletic medicine and fitness spaces, and support areas.

"We have one of the nation's elite softball programs, and this facility will help us to continue striving for championships," said Dave Brandon, the Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics. "The Shepherd Softball Center will consolidate all of our team, coaching and support functions into one location adjacent to our first-class competition venue."

The resources needed for the project will be provided from athletic department resources and/or gifts to the facility.

A piece of South Campus has been completed with this. Exciting news.

Project Est Amount Est Date Status
Schembechler Hall Renovation $9,000,000 2/1/2013 Approved
Ocker Field Facilties, Expansion $9,500,000 3/1/2013 Approved
Michigan Stadium painting project $6,000,000 2/1/2013 Approved
Shepherd Softball Center $4,000,000 6/1/2013 Approved
Scoreboards for various venues $4,000,000 1/1/2014 Pending
Lacrosse Stadium, Facilities $12,000,000 3/1/2014 Pending
Strength & Conditioning, Rowing Facilities $25,000,000 3/1/2015 Pending
Indoor & Outdoor Track & Field facilities $90,000,000 3/1/2015 Pending
Yost Ice Arena ice plant replacement $3,200,000 4/1/2015 Pending
Canham Natatorium expansion/renovation $20,000,000 3/1/2017 Pending
Gymnastics/Volleyball/Wrestling arena $30,000,000 6/1/2017 Pending




October 22nd, 2012 at 5:30 PM ^

Long overdue. Hutch has been fantastic for our program and it's about time softball got some of the love they deserve. I can't wait to see what South Campus is going to look like when all these changes are complete! 


October 22nd, 2012 at 7:47 PM ^

and heard stories about, Michigan Softball hasn't really been lacking in facilities. This looks to me like a move from "very good" to "world class". I could be wrong of course, a lot of what I've seen doesn't belong to the elite softball teams, so my stories are secondhand.

Sidenote, I've heard Tennessee has the best softball facilities in the country so...yeah.


October 22nd, 2012 at 10:39 PM ^

to Tenn field in Knoxville.  It is awesome.  They love SB as much as we do. 

I had the opportunity to see the plans and it will be top self.  It will be a recruiting plus.  I cant wait for this to get started.

I was going to post this on Wednesday after the staee banter died down but thanks WD for the post.


October 22nd, 2012 at 5:39 PM ^

Not trying to be sarcastic but has the board of regents ever refused anything pertaining to athletics. It just seems like everything Brandon has put on the table the regents have approved

Michael Scarn

October 22nd, 2012 at 5:43 PM ^

This is likely because anything that gets presented to the Regents is the result of meticulous planning and forecasting.  The Board of Regents vote is not a formality, but if the Athletic Department presents them with a project that is well planned, paid for (or carefully financed), they don't have much of a reason to say no.  

Brandon - "Can we spend athletic department money to improve campus?"

Board - "Sure."


October 22nd, 2012 at 5:43 PM ^

Curious about the stadium painting project. R they planning on paintin the outerwalls of the endzones because they could use a new paint job. Just not sure why that would cost 6000000


October 22nd, 2012 at 7:00 PM ^

That $25 million is actually for S&C, rowing, and soccer facilities; the new S&C facilities are not just for rowing. Here's the description from the "Future of South Campus" page at

New Strength & Conditioning Facilities

We are going to create an impressive, innovative, and envied Athletic Training Facility in two centralized locations. One will be housed right next to the administration building and will allow strength and conditioning access to athletes on the north end of South Campus while the other will be located on the south end.


October 22nd, 2012 at 6:49 PM ^

Donald Shepherd is an awesome philanthropist and person. He's an alumnus of my H.S. (near Flint), gave one soon-to-be UM student a $10k scholarship each year, funded the gymnastics facility, and has a golf hole named after him. He even took me to a bball game where we sat next to Jim Abbott courtside.

Feat of Clay

October 23rd, 2012 at 3:11 PM ^

I just came in here to say what a great man he is.  For a good read, check out the story on how he came to be a benefactor for the gymnastics program.  From what I understand, he just decided to up and DO it because it needed doing and no one else was stepping forward. 


October 22nd, 2012 at 7:51 PM ^

Why are the indoor and outdoor track facilities supposed to cost $90 Million?  Isn't it just an oval of concrete.  With a roof over such an oval for indoor track?  Seems to me like that would be, by far, the cheapest facility to build.  They really don't need to put in significant stands or concessions unless they are hoping to host tournaments.  Can anyone explain?


Wolverine Devotee

October 22nd, 2012 at 8:10 PM ^

I'm assuming the indoor building will include lockerrooms, team meeting rooms, coaches offices, stands for spectators (see South Campus site), concessions, championship banners etc. Michigan really does it up big with their facilities.

Plus, the amount there also includes the price the demolition of the U-M Indoor Track Building and Ferry Field will cost. Yes, you read that right. Ferry Field, the home field to Michigan football prior to Michigan Stadium is going to become a parking lot.


October 22nd, 2012 at 10:25 PM ^

A track is more than just an oval of concrete. Whether indoor orb outdoor, you have a very specialized coating that goes over the concrete that is designed to provide some cushion while maximizing return energy for each stride. In addition, it has to withstand the spikes of the runners season after season, and in a place like Michigan constant use in the winter. It's sad that a school like GVSU has an amazing indoor facility with grandstands, huge video screen, beautiful locker rooms, great athletic training facilities, etc.

Track isn't cheap.


October 22nd, 2012 at 8:08 PM ^

This is another great upgrade, and it is gratifying to see the athletic campus as whole come into being as a world class campus which will hopefully atteact  the best in our various varisty sports for years to  come. If it is of interest to the group, I can say that some of the work orders for electrical upgrades for the buildings we service (DTE and the university sort of split South Campus) are on my desk, awaiting paperwork and assignment. Much of what is on this list is coming, folks. 


October 23rd, 2012 at 1:25 PM ^

I believe the money listed for lacrosse facilities is just for their locker rooms, offices, meeting rooms, etc.  No way you build all those for 80+ athletes (combined between the two teams) PLUS a stadium for $12M.  A stadium will cost much more.  The picture they show on the website is of the soccer stadium.  Of course they could play in the soccer stadium eventually, but lacrosse would tear up the grass pretty badly.  If that was the plan you'd think they would already be out there instead of in the football stadium.  I've heard talk of an indoor lacrosse stadium eventually.  If that's the case you're talking big money, more in line with what they are doing for track.  This would make sense since lacrosse season starts in February, and you have to believe they want to draw well if they are going to compete with the ACC.