Black Bear student-athletes who play football, soccer, baseball, softball or field hockey now have an indoor practice facility complete with a state-of-the-art artificial surface.
Construction has been completed on an air-supported dome-type structure, which will also provide a useful venue for various other University of Maine activities, on the spot formerly occupied by the university's tennis courts. Larry Mahaney, the Maine graduate for whom the Black Bears' baseball facility is named, is providing the approximately $1 million required to construct the dome.
Mahaney joined University of Maine President Robert Kennedy and Interim Athletic Director Blake James, along with other university officials, for a ceremonial groundbreaking on Wednesday September 14 at the construction site.
"Larry's generosity is overwhelming, and this gift is much-appreciated," Kennedy says. "The University of Maine is fortunate to have friends like Larry, who demonstrate their loyalty and support in such meaningful ways. We have student-athletes, coaches and administrators who are marvelous people and this project will help provide the missing link in facilites that they need to compete. It will also be a multipurpose facility that can be used by all the community in addition to athletics. This is a very exciting project for the University of Maine."
The structure will be 200' x 200', and will stand 55 feet high at the center. It will be usable year-round, in all weather conditions.
"We have spent the last five years trying to get this project done, and persistance has been key," said Mahaney. "I have a passion for the University of Maine and there are a lot of people to thank for their work. Scott Atherley was the contact for the athletic department; Claude Junkins was an invaluable resource from the University; Janet Waldren and Anita Wihry from the University; Jim Parker from CES; John Huard, who helped out with the field surface; and President Kennedy, who was ready to see this project happen. Also, I would like to thank my son, Kevin, who donated the $1 million on my behalf for this project."
"This facility will have a tremendous impact on our program," James says. "To have a state-of -the-art indoor practice facility will benefit many of our teams and help ensure the future success of Black Bear athletics. We express our gratitude to Larry and Kevin for making this possible."