Archive for Thursday, August 17, 2000

Eudora High adds two ball diamonds

August 17, 2000

Eudora High students will now be able to practice a little closer to school, thanks to the addition of two on-campus ball diamonds.

The Eudora school district's transportation and grounds department has erected fencing to be used for one softball and one baseball field directly north of EHS.

Marion Johnson, Eudora school board president, said the fields were built to cope with a shortage of available fields in Eudora.

"The town has a shortage of baseball facilities," Johnson said. "The board was in the hope this would help."

Matt Daigh, director of transportation and grounds, said the board first took action in preparing for the fields three years ago. When ground maintenance was done on the soil and grass of EHS, that's when the plan went into effect.

"It was our intent even back then to cause baseball and softball fields to be erected," Daigh said. "We're continuing to work on the infield regarding the grass and the dirt. It's an ongoing process."

Though the work has begun, full completion of these diamonds in the rough has a long way to go.

The fields are planned to have dugouts, lights and stands but have no timeframe to their completion. Only the fencing is slated to be completed this school year, limiting use of the fields for practice.

Johnson said the $33,247 fencing cost will come from the 2000-2001 budget, but there is no set date for completion of the fields.

"That has not been discussed at this point," Johnson said. "We're basically taking it one step at a time."

Further building may continue on the fields throughout the 2000-2001 school year, with the decision to proceed to come from the board and the availability of funds.

"I'm sure a lot of that will be brought up through the coming year," Johnson said. "I'm sure since we have fences up, we'll be looking at that in the future."

Work of the fields as student numbers in the district continue to grow will more easily accommodate future athletic activities, Daigh said.

"Any time you can have your activities adjacent to the school and enjoy the parking that's good," Daigh said.

If a new high school is built upon land close to the new fields and existing high school, Daigh said, the fields would still be able to be utilized by the district's athletes.

"Even if we do buy more land and build a new school, these fields will still be utilized," Daigh said.

For now, the fences will have to do.

"The board has taken the first step," Daigh said. "Now we've got to decide what the next step is. My way of thinking anyway is this will get the ball rolling.

"I know there's a desire to get the fields done."

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