Fields See Renovations Ahead of Seasons

Renovations+have+already+begun+on+the+baseball+field+and+the+softball+field+will+start+soon.

Coy Busick

Renovations have already begun on the baseball field and the softball field will start soon.

The PHS baseball and softball fields are on track to see major changes ahead of the spring sports season. Substantial renovations are set to take place, courtesy of leftover money from PHS’s 2020 building project fund, in order to improve the playing and training areas for these spring athletes.

Suggestions made to the school board and Superintendent Greg Walker by Varsity Baseball Coach Jeremy Payton set in motion the repair plans. On September 12, The board approved $70,950 worth of renovations in accordance with the contracting company Turfdogs’s quote.

Payton was motivated by his players to make his proposal.

“Every [away] game, the kids would say the fields were way nicer than we had. That hit home a little and I felt we needed to ask for the improvements,” said Payton.

There are a variety of problems that the baseball construction project is set out to solve.

The renovations [are] for the kids and the program. I am not sure when the last time the baseball field had much money spent on it. This will improve the grounds for us and the traveling team. The players deserve to have the improvements made.”

— Varsity Baseball Coach Jeremy Payton

The field in its entirety is getting a makeover. Two new warning tracks extending 15 feet from dugout to dugout will be added — one around the backstop and the other along the outfield fence. Furthermore, new sod will be laid across the whole field and a new home plate and pitcher’s mound will be placed.

When it comes to the training spaces, the dirt floors of the batting cages will be replaced with concrete to make them easier to maintain. Concrete will also be added to the bullpen’s pitching mounds and home plate areas where pitchers warm up their arms.

“The renovations [are] for the kids and the program. I am not sure when the last time the baseball field had much money spent on it. This will improve the grounds for us and the traveling team. The players deserve to have the improvements made,” said Payton.

In addition to players seeing benefits, the baseball fans will be provided with new seating that gives a better view of the entire field. This new seating will be where the press box was previously.

The softball field will be undergoing similar significant changes according to Varsity Softball Coach Neil Dittmer’s proposal. The school board approved Turfdogs’s estimate for $67,545 to complete the softball field’s maintenance and update project.

“These are repairs that have been needed for a while, and we just thought now was the time to try and get something completed,” said Dittmer.

I hope that it improves the look and playability of the field. Right now it is in rough shape. I hope that our players will take pride in an updated facility and that our fans can enjoy the experience of a fantastic new field.”

— Varsity Softball Coach Neil Dittmer

Both the infield and outfield at the softball facility will be completely restored. The construction will begin with a full rippingout of the current fields. From there, each of the bases will be realigned along with the pitching rubber. Last for the infield will be the resurfacing in which all of the old soil will be removed and then replaced with new soil.

For the outfield, the process is similar. After it has been torn out, the outfield will be laser-leveled before brand new sod is laid out. Dittmer is confident that the changes made will be beneficial to spectators and players alike.

“I hope that it improves the look and playability of the field. Right now it is in rough shape. I hope that our players will take pride in an updated facility and that our fans can enjoy the experience of a fantastic new field,” said Dittmer.