Malone has created a vision for a brand new athletic facility. This new facility, collectively known as Pioneer Park, will be located next to U.S. 62 where Malone’s current soccer field and football practice field are located. The Park will consist of three brand new turf fields, including a practice field running north to south right next to the post office, a new turf soccer field and a new baseball field to bring baseball back to campus. A full set of stadium bleachers are featured in the designs as well.
There are also plans to bring concessions and locker rooms into the middle of the Park. This will attract more fans while also making it easier for athletes to get ready for their games. Along with all of these new features, the Park hopes to add a new feature called “Pioneer Trail.” Pioneer Trail will be a path that starts in Pioneer Park and runs all the way through East Campus. It is a path that both visitors and students can use for walking, running and biking.
Pioneer Park will not only be great for members of the Malone community, but for the community of Canton as well. It will provide a place to hold sports camps, summer camps and even high school tournaments. With a place for these new opportunities to grow, the Park has the potential to become a great revenue generator for Malone.
While there is not an exact start date to building, administrators are working towards making Pioneer Park a reality.
“It’s in lawyers’ hands right now. [They are] dealing with constructions and talking to potential donors,” said athletic director Charlie Grimes.
Grimes said he is very passionate about making this happen for Malone. He said he makes it a priority to go out and talk to potential donors and explain why this is important to him and the Malone community.
It is Malone’s goal to start building in summer or fall of 2017, depending how much money has been generated.
“It’s time. Malone is behind our competitors; we are behind most high schools, and it is time to catch up. We are going to get it done. We are dedicated to getting it done,” said Grimes.
The completion of Pioneer Park is an opportunity for Malone to enhance student athlete experiences by providing a top-notch space for practicing, training and competing.
“By bringing things back to campus, it will be huge. Plus, the facility being all turf and lights will be a big advantage. We recruit great student athletes now, but it will be easier to get better players because it will make Malone more attractive to our top prospects,” said head baseball coach Tom Crank.
“I think Pioneer Park will benefit Malone because then all of the sports can be played on campus. It doesn’t just help the athletes, but will also attract more people to come here as well. It makes it nice to know that more people would come to our games if we had the Park. I am excited about it, and I can’t wait for it to be finished,” said senior soccer captain Kaela Kovanda.
Darby Burch is a guest writer for The Aviso.