Cal State Bakersfield is set to begin construction on 750 chairback seats at Hardt Field. The gold seats should be in place by Feb. 15, when the Roadrunners open their baseball season at home against the University of Nebraska, CSUB athletic director Jeff Konya said.

That is the first phase of a two-phase project that will have a total cost of between $700,000 and $1 million, Konya said.

"Having an on-campus home for CSUB baseball was an important issue for several of our key boosters and we are very grateful for their contributions," Konya said. "This is just the first phase, but it will be a tremendous upgrade from the past and the first step in the right direction for Hardt Field."

The new seats will be constructed behind home plate between the home plate area and the visitor's dugout. The initial phase is being bankrolled by multiple six-figure gifts from CSUB supporters.

Konya announced last spring that a fundraising effort was under way to pay for the construction of permanent seating at Hardt Field.

CSUB is joining the Western Athletic Conference in baseball this season (the remainder of the athletic department will join the WAC in July).

Fundraising is continuing for the second phase of the project, which will feature a press box and two donor suites located at the top of the main grandstand.

"We still have a lot of work to do before things are finalized