Inside Facilities: #PantherFamily Day in Panthersville

On the third Wednesday of every month, a member of the Facilities staff will give a behind-the-scenes look at what’s going on around its area and the department. Over the course of every month, each department will be featured at least once. Coming Monday: Communications

Georgia State Athletics hosted its annual #PantherFamily Day this past Saturday at the Panthersville Athletic Complex. The free event featured a softball doubleheader, two men’s soccer scrimmages, football’s spring game, and an unexpected sixteen innings of baseball! Mother Nature decided to join in on the festivities Friday evening during the scheduled baseball game. With a forecast of ¼-inch of rain, the grounds department expected Friday evening’s game to be played without incident, boy were we fooled! Panthersville was hit with 1 ¼ inches of rain Friday afternoon and evening leading to extra baseball on Saturday. After two innings, the game was postponed and scheduled to finish Saturday at 2 p.m. with another game to follow.

Events like #PantherFamily Day take a great deal of planning and effort from all departments involved. The grounds department began our field preparations for the event two weeks in advance. In order to transform the soccer stadium into a dual football and soccer field, a new mowing pattern was created and two different colors of paint were used to differentiate the playing dimensions. With help from the Facilities and Operations departments, Thursday was spent painting the final lines on the baseball, softball, and combined football/soccer fields. Logos were also painted on each field. Baseball had their traditional white “GSU” logo behind home plate. Softball’s “GSU” logo in centerfield was painted pink with a white outline as part of the team’s Breast Cancer Awareness Game. Finally, the popular blue, white, and red “GSU” logo was painted at midfield of the soccer stadium.

Everything seemed to be going along as planned until the April showers came rolling in. After one-inch of rain fell Monday and 1 ¼ inches on Friday, the grounds department became a bit anxious about the conditions of the soccer field. The 2014 STMA Soccer Field of the Year is a native soil field without a draining system. Our crew was able to mow all the fields a final time Friday morning before the heavy rain hit. With all the field preparations complete, we were left crossing our fingers that Mother Nature wouldn’t wash away the day and all our hard work.

Thankfully, the skies opened up and Saturday morning was filled with sunshine. Our crew arrived at 7 a.m. to set up the finishing touches before gates opened at 9 a.m. The weather remained beautiful all day, allowing game fields to dry from all the rain. The outcome of #PantherFamily Day featured two Sun Belt Conference victories each for the baseball and softball teams, a victory for the men’s soccer team, and an exciting spring game for the football team. After two weeks of preparations and a very long day, the 2015 #PantherFamily Day was deemed a success. Thank you to everyone involved for all of your hard work!

See you at P-ville!
–Erin Weigle
Grounds Graduate Assistant

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