Advertising begins Monday to announce that bids will soon be taken to build the new girls' softball complex for Wenatchee High School. 

The facility is being constructed because there’s been concern the Wenatchee School District is not in compliance with Title IX, which requires equal treatment for male and female athletes.  

Project architect Bill LaRue with the firm Bernardo Wills says they've designed the softball field to fit Title lX guidelines. 

"A lot of the things that we're looking at are trying to provide similar products and features that the boys would have," said LaRue. "So, some of the things that we looked at was the boys facilities to try and match how the girls' facility might look." 

The new softball field will resolve a complaint that was filed with the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) alleging the district's current baseball facilities are vastly superior to the facilities used for softball. 

The softball complex includes three soccer fields, two of them behind the softball field to the north and one directly to its right field side that will be used for PE classes.  

The softball field itself will feature: 

  • A girls' varsity regulation fastpitch softball field with synthetic turf (similar to what the boys' baseball field has) 
  • A press box with about 100 seats in front of it 
  • dugouts, locker rooms, and restrooms  
  • Batting cages 
  • Outfield fencing with branding opportunities for signage 
  • A Concrete wall infield backstop offering branding opportunities 
  • A Gateway to the field meant to create the feel of a stadium and offer name-branding opportunities for the facility 
  • A Concrete wall infield backstop offering branding opportunities 

Project Manager Rob Gross says the state-of-the-art field will offer benefits from the naming rights and branding capabilities at the complex. 

“There are many opportunities to be able to get that for the kids, for travel expenses, to buy new uniforms,” said Gross. “And there’s lots of opportunities.” 

Gross mentioned the school district is already in the process of securing a sponsor that’ll get branding on the scoreboard 

Thus far in the project, a traffic study has been conducted, permits were submitted to the City of Wenatchee and a bid document was generated. 

Bids will be accepted starting March 20 with construction tentatively scheduled to start in April. Completion is set for August. 

There's $4 million in funding for the softball field coming from the district’s savings, or fund balance. School board members believe there'll be another funding source available to help pay for any additional costs to complete the project.   

The school district is currently trying to fill a severe $8.6 million budget shortfall by the beginning of the next school year. 

Spokesperson Diana Haglund told KPQ the $4 million being used on the softball complex is required to satisfy the Civil Rights complaint and could not be used to help pay down the budget shortfall. 

She also said the district is making a long-term fix to the budget by reducing staff levels which account for 80 percent of the district’s expenses. 

44 Famous Alumni from Washington State High Schools

Gallery Credit: Reesha Cosby

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