09/20/2008 – Daily News Record
Written By Heather Bowser Facility, Opened In 1949, To Make Room For New Baseball/Softball Complex HARRISONBURG – James Madison University will begin demolition of the old Veterans Memorial Stadium on Monday at noon, officials said. A new softball/baseball complex, which will retain the Memorial name, will replace the aging facility. The old stadium was dedicated in 1949 in honor of the area’s 139 veterans killed during World War II. A plaque with the names of those veterans remained outside the stadium for decades until recently, when it was moved to a "secure facility," according to a release. The plaque, with the addition of three names left off the original, will be integrated into the design of the new complex. Last Veterans Day, JMU President Linwood Rose announced the expansion of the memorial. The new Veterans Memorial Stadium will honor all Harrisonburg and Rockingham County veterans who were killed in action. For decades, the stadium was home to the Harrisonburg High School Blue Streaks and the Valley Baseball League’s Harrisonburg Turks. The new facility will be home to JMU’s baseball and softball teams and is expected to be completed "in time for the programs to begin their 2010 seasons," according to the release. The Turks also will use the stadium. The baseball part of the complex will seat 1,200 people and will have synthetic turf, officials have said. The softball section will seat 500 people and have a grass outfield. The existing softball field on the west side of the property will remain as a practice field. Although bids for the project are not final, an earlier presentation to JMU’s board estimated the cost at around $9.7 million.