• 61°

A field of dreams

On Friday morning, a small group of community leaders and college representatives met beside the ball field at Paul D. Camp Community College for a ceremonial groundbreaking, which marks the beginning of renovations that will bring the field up to the standards of college play.

While the college’s new baseball team has been playing games for a few weeks now — all road games out of necessity — the groundbreaking is tangible evidence on campus that the new athletic department is becoming a reality.

The athletic program at PDC is the brainchild of newly inaugurated college president Dr. Dan Lufkin, who arrived on campus a mere 15 months ago and has already breathed much-needed life into a struggling institution.

But while a new baseball program — and with it a soon-to-be renovated baseball facility — are certainly providing much sizzle, the steak is what else is taking place at PDCCC.

Enrollment is up, in large part due to the number of student-athletes who committed to come to Franklin to play baseball. New educational and job training programs have been planned and implemented. Important relationships and collaborations have been developed with corporate partners throughout the region.

Perhaps the most important development in recent months is that the community has become excited about the things taking place on College Drive in Franklin and at the Smithfield and Suffolk campuses.

The fact that Lufkin and his team have brought this baseball program to life in such short order is an impressive feat, and the fact that there will be college ball played here is exciting enough for baseball fans in Western Tidewater.

But the shiny new baseball complex that will be ready for play after the first of the new year is really just emblematic of all the good things taking place at PDCCC. Count us among those who are excited to see what the future holds for this school on the rise.