Wednesday, April 16, 2008

F'burg Baseball Fields Design Preview

At last night's city budget beg-a-thon budget hearing, there was one tidbit of new information that I found very interesting. Even though the Cal Ripken foundation hasn't announced where it is with fund raising for the Fredericksburg "Youth Sports & Development Complex" aka Cal Ripken fields, they did announce that they have been spending money on upfront design and engineering. They brought this design concept with them.

As you can see, it appears that the fields will have one primary playing field, with full size outfield, and two smaller practice/tournament fields for a total of three. It may be that the perspective didn't come through on the 2D photograph, maybe it will be three full size fields. Looks like a concession stand and other support buildings are there. The design looks nice, with trees remaining throughout the area.
Several observations:
  • I don't see any placement of light posts.
  • Obviously these are all baseball fields, with grass infields. Maybe the city will feel encouraged to expand the complex later to include other rec facilities (softball, soccer, etc).
  • Why didn't they turn field #1 around so that home plate was next to the concession stand for all 3 fields?
  • Does anyone else notice that there are only small sets of bleachers, although they appear covered?

The Cal Ripken foundation was there last night requesting that the City not forget their commitment to provide the roadway and utilities to the site. From my conversations/emails with council, I don't think their idea of delaying the 500k of improvements was intended to signal an unwillingness to improve the site. I personally would expect that other site improvements such as land clearing, grading the fields, construction of footers, etc would have to occur before the city should expend any money on road improvements (think heavy equipment over a brand new roadway). Bringing in water and sewer will be important once buildings are being constructed. But until there is an expected start date, why tax the citizens an extra cent for this project. Let that money be used this year for other items (I vote for COLA), and expense it when necessary.

With the progress being made, hopefully a start date will be announced soon and real plans can be put in place.

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