School board talks ‘embarrassing’ baseball fields
By AUDREY INGRAM
The Greene County School District baseball field needs help, school officials agree.
After a heavy rain, water pools on the Jefferson field — a reality that has resulted in several postponed games, even when sump pumps are deployed on the field.
“It’s embarrassing to have people come here sometimes,” head baseball coach Mark Sawhill told Greene County school board members during their regular meeting last week.
The field hasn’t been upgraded since it was installed in the 1960s, said Sawhill. Its current state is hazardous to the infielders, he added.
The school board considered three proposals to address the standing water issue: $30,000 to remove the infield and apron and resod it; $75,000 to take the ground down about eight inches to create a better drainage base; or $130,000 to add tile and irrigation to the field.
Board members asked about the possibility of using the baseball field located in and owned by the city of Rippey to host more games, but building and grounds supervisor Shawn DeMoss said the field sits in a low part of town and has similar water issues — last year, only six games were scheduled in Rippey, and only four of those games were played, he said.
The board did not vote on a project, but member Sam Harding voiced his preference for the third option if funding could be found.
Superintendent Tim Christensen said funding would likely come from the voter-approved physical plant and equipment levy, approved by voters last year.
The project would likely start after the 2014-15 school year’s baseball season concluded, leaving the upgraded field open for play in the 2015-16 school year.