Fix the baseball facilities at Troy Athens High School to make them safe and playable.

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The Athens baseball community encourages the district to make the baseball facilities safe and playable venues that are a source of pride for our community. Regrettably, the current facilities do not meet these practical standards.  

Problems: Years of neglect have left the baseball fields in a hazardous and disgraceful condition.

  • The unfortunate location of the Athens varsity field is problematic. It sits between the high school building and football field in frequent shadow from the gym and visitor football stands. A lack of sunlight and constant drainage from the building and football stadium leaves the field a swampy mess each season.
  • Compounding the problem, heavy equipment has been driven on the field leaving tire tracks and ruts in both the infield and outfield playing surfaces.
  • Sand, instead of an appropriate clay-based material, has been used to fill holes around bases, the plate area, and on the pitching mound.
  • The bullpens down each foul line have not been maintained, leaving them unlevel, unusable, and unsafe.
  • Unsuitable grass has been installed over the years, likely due to low-bid sod replacements. Infield sod for a baseball field needs to be a sports turf blend not typical lawn sod—which is currently in place. The current grass is not level and way too thick for baseball.
  • There is no longer a batting cage, sound system or functional scoreboard.
  • Fencing has not been well maintained and now protrudes in many areas and is dangerous.
  • Lack of weeding has left the warning track nearly non-existent due to overgrowth.
  • The main field entrance gate (regardless of the weather) is always muddy and often pools with water due to the poor field drainage. 
  • Dangerous tools, stakes and assorted metal objects have been left on the field and have turned up during games.
  • Exposed sewer grids located in the outfield make footing even more treacherous.

Necessary Improvements:

  1. A new playing surface, preferably synthetic turf instead of natural grass because of the field’s current location and drainage problems. Varsity Coach Mike Morris has specifics on how funding can be secured through donations and fundraising to make this possible. [For Safety, Maintenance, and Competitiveness]
  2. Netting installed above the fence line down both base lines. This is both a safety and cost necessity. Due to the location of the field next to the school building and football field, foul balls careen in all directions during a game. From a safety perspective, spectators are in constant danger of being hit by a batted ball. From a money standpoint, 3x times as many baseballs are needed for a game at Athens due to the large number lost on the roof of the high school. [For Safety and Budget]
  3. New bullpens installed down each foul line with mounds and in-ground plates. [For Safety and Competitiveness]
  4. A batting cage needs to be reinstalled. After removal in the summer of 2018 there has been no replacement. All other OAA and Division 1 baseball and softball programs have outdoor batting cages. From a competitive standpoint, this is a necessity that would greatly benefit all baseball and softball teams. [For Competitiveness]
  5. The JV field is in desperate need of a walking path from the parking lot, cemented dugout floors and extended netting along the base lines. [For Safety]

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