Day of the dedications

The new $1.6 million UH baseball clubhouse at Les Murakami Stadium. / Photo by Brian McInnis

It was a 2-for-1 special Wednesday morning at the Manoa lower campus.

Two brand-new facilities upgrades received Native Hawaiian blessings and dedications essentially at the same time (they were back-to-back). Hawaii baseball got its new locker room — re-branded a clubhouse — at Les Murakami Stadium, and the UH basketball teams can say their Gym II practice facility is officially open for business.

The upgrades are courtesy of the state legislature, which approved money totaling $11.6 million for the two projects in the fiscal year 2016. (That includes the Gym I overhaul primarily for the UH volleyball teams that is just getting underway — $10M for the two gyms and $1.6M for the baseball clubhouse.)

They were the first renovations of that magnitude to the gym and LMS locker room facilities built in 1981 and 1984, respectively.

UH administrators and state legislators first dedicated the baseball lockers. / Photo by Brian McInnis
An hour later, a ceremony was held in Gym II. / Photo by Brian McInnis

UH athletic director David Matlin had plenty to smile about. Per UH, the projects were finished on time and on budget.

“It’s an exciting day. I’m very grateful, because there’s so many hands in this, so many unsung heroes, took so many people to get this done,” UH athletic director David Matlin said.

As to the question of how the upgrades address UH’s place in facilities battles with their peers, and past criticisms of shortcomings, Matlin replied, “I think it says we’re at a really good place. I think some of those people might still say that, but it’s not reality. I think you come here, the appreciation for getting us to the next level, from a safety perspective, from a recruiting perspective, and just to be more competitive, is important. There’s been a lot of positives.”

The baseball upgrade was interesting, in that in required construction of walls to enclose an area that was previously open to the elements.

“I’ll be candid, when we were first talking about it, I didn’t know how practical it would be. But the good thing is I’m not an architect or construction person. It actually works really well. The planning, even from the dugout, it flows better (than to the old locker room). Even the showers being redone and all that, that’s huge.”

The lockers are in formation similar to a baseball diamond. There’s four overhead TVs (surrounding a bright overhead illuminated “H”) for players on various sides of the room to have a vantage point.

Baseball coach Mike Trapasso was gleaming nearly as much as the new lockers, which are akin to the ones installed for the UH football locker room upgrade of a few years ago. Players moved into their new digs on Monday, well in time for the Feb. 15 season opener vs. Portland.

UH coach Mike Trapasso addressed media and UH and state bigwigs in the new clubhouse.

Trapasso thanked upper campus and the legislature, as well as Elite Pacific Construction, which he credited for doing a meticulous and passionate job.

“This clubhouse will have a lasting and direct impact on the college experience of our student-athletes,” Trapasso said. “This will allow our players to be in an environment where they can go out and pursue greatness, on the field, in the classroom and the community. And that’s exciting.

“I’ve already had several people say, ‘how many wins is this room going to equate to?’ And the the truth is a clubhouse like this isn’t going to throw a pitch, swing a bat. But it will allow us to recruit great players who can do those things.”

Here’s how the previous locker room (located down the hall) looks:

The old locker room at Les Murakami Stadium left something (or things) to be desired. / Photo by Brian McInnis
Mike Trapasso used to steer recruits clear of the locker room. / Photo by Brian McInnis

Basketball coaches Eran Ganot and Laura Beeman echoed Trapasso’s sentiments for their sports when they spoke at the Gym II dedication.

For more on the bells and whistles of the new Gym II, here’s a post from its soft launch in mid-December. The teams have practiced in it for about the last two weeks. TCU coach Jamie Dixon, a former UH assistant, recently called it “one of the best collegiate practice facilities in the nation” when he was here for the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic.

Former UH players Phil Martin, Ryne Holliday and Kalia McGee were on hand for the dedication and appeared impressed.

UH touted the “net-zero” energy demands of the new gyms, even with air conditioning, because of wattage generated by PV panels on the rooftop.

Matlin said that a replacement of the track at T.C. Ching Athletic Complex and the next phase of work on Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium (including a locker room) are the next facilities improvements in line.

Other photos from today:

Coach Mike Trapasso, his staff and four players gathered for the dedication.
Kash Koltermann’s new locker.
Locker midsection.
Locker base.
Wahine basketball coach Laura Beeman spoke at the Gym II dedication.
UH men’s hoops coach Eran Ganot added his thoughts in Gym II.

COMMENTS

  1. cappie the dog January 12, 2019 1:11 pm

    Cold shooting before the first media timeout. But at least the two made buckets were 3s..

    I like how Reiner spoke to the team on the bench before the coach arrived. That’s what the team needs.


  2. cappie the dog January 12, 2019 1:14 pm

    Refers receives the ball. She doesn’t travel; she gets fouled.


  3. cappie the dog January 12, 2019 1:15 pm

    Rewers draws another foul.


  4. cappie the dog January 12, 2019 1:17 pm

    Atwell’s first shot, a three; it’s good.

    Is she going to be the 3-pt. specialist?


  5. cappie the dog January 12, 2019 1:19 pm

    I think the continued progress of Rewers and Atwell is the difference between Hawaii finishing third, instead of sixth.


  6. cappie the dog January 12, 2019 1:25 pm

    Some attempted shots go so wayward, you tell yourself that the player was fouled to make you feel better.


  7. cappie the dog January 12, 2019 1:26 pm

    Rewers is looking good. She is getting to the line.

    3-4.


  8. cappie the dog January 12, 2019 1:28 pm

    Rewers draws another foul.

    Two more free throws.

    1-2.


  9. cappie the dog January 12, 2019 1:30 pm

    Rewers affected the shot attempt. It led to two made free throws by Salanoa.

    Interior defense. Hawaii did not have that last year. HPU scored at will in the paint last season.


  10. cappie the dog January 12, 2019 1:36 pm

    Turnovers.

    11-2 run.


  11. cappie the dog January 12, 2019 1:51 pm

    No Jack in the Box blimp on Title IX day.


  12. cappie the dog January 12, 2019 1:56 pm

    Kanoa has Stepteau’s game.

    3s or layups.


  13. cappie the dog January 12, 2019 1:57 pm

    How do you miss the whole basket?


  14. cappie the dog January 12, 2019 2:00 pm

    Woodfolk keeping Hawaii in the game.


  15. cappie the dog January 12, 2019 2:10 pm

    UC-Davis comes with the dagger before the horn sounds.

    Down 5.


  16. cappie the dog January 12, 2019 2:15 pm

    Two made shots near basket.

    Put Rewers back in game.


  17. cappie the dog January 12, 2019 2:24 pm

    Middap’s steal keeps Hawaii in contention.

    Kansa playing like a senior.

    Hustle rebound on the offensive side; drains 3.


  18. cappie the dog January 12, 2019 2:30 pm

    Kansa grabs another key rebound.


  19. cappie the dog January 12, 2019 2:33 pm

    That hustle play makes it possible for Woodfolk to extend the lead at the line.


  20. cappie the dog January 12, 2019 2:37 pm

    Woodfolk looks relaxed. She’s got this. Smiling, waving to teammates.

    Yes.

    Game out of reach.


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