New Wenatchee School District Softball Field On Fast Track
The Wenatchee School District is on the fast track to build a new field for its girls' softball programs.
The current timeline calls for the design phase to begin as soon as next week with the project scheduled for completion by next August, in less than a year.
Project Manager Rob Gross gave a presentation to the Wenatchee School Board this week, where he said they won't be delayed by seasonal weather.
"Fortunately, we can work through the winter," said Gross. "Dirt's good to be moved through the winter. And there's nothing wrong with constructing anything in the winter. So, we'll be good."
Gross spent time assuring board members the fast timeline for the softball field is doable. He acknowledged they're "in a sprint", but said he'd done more in less time with other high school athletic projects.
He mentioned he was managing construction of a new stadium in Yakima for the West Valley School District.
The facility is being constructed because there’s been concern the Wenatchee School District was not meeting compliance with Title IX. Title IX requires all educational institutions in the US to reward male and female athletes equally.
The new softball field will also 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 district's current field for high school baseball features all-synthetic turf and is located across the street from the high school, while its softball teams utilize facilities at Walla Walla Point Park which lack the same amenities.
The new varsity softball field will be located at Triangle Park near the Apple Bowl and Recreation Park.
During Gross' school board presentation, board vice president Julie Norton asked if all the existing infrastructure at the softball site would be demolished.
Gross said the restrooms and concession facility would likely remain, although they’d be updated.
"Initially, right now, we have that as renovating," Gross said. "And then building the new stadium right in front of it, with the press box on top with a scoreboard," Gross said. "Everything you can imagine for a softball field; this is going to get."
There's be $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.
Gross also said the construction could possibly include new soccer and football fields at the north corner of the park, but the top priority is the softball field.