Getting ready to play ball

Wednesday, July 24, 2019
An extremely wet spring led to the collapse of a portion of the backstop at Purdy High School in May. The district is now investing almost $46,000 to repair the damage and make additional stadium improvements. Contributed photo

Purdy begins process of rehabbing stadium

Construction crews rolled into Purdy High School this week to begin almost $46,000 of stadium improvements to the district’s baseball field.

On May 4, school officials noticed debris had fallen behind home plate. It was not until they walked closer they saw that two-thirds of the nearly five-foot retaining wall that makes up the backstop had collapsed, in large part due to the record rainfall that doused the area.

The district, according to Superintendent Mindi Gates, approved a bid of $45,813 to not only fix the backstop, but also to address a couple of other issues at the park.

“We are moving the dugouts farther down the line and putting fencing around them to prevent any balls from being able to hit into the dugouts,” Gates said.

Joshua Hughes, Purdy baseball coach, said he has a sentimental attachment to the way the park was, but feels like the changes are needed and will help his team going forward.

“I think the plan is to move the backstop back 8 to 10 feet,” Hughes said. “Also, we will get rid of those hot concrete dugouts. By pushing them down the line and back a bit, we also open up a considerable amount of foul territory. For years, we watched and numerous baseballs pelted the top of our dugout and counted as a foul ball, where in almost any other park they would have been caught for an out.”

The district also plans to pour concrete pads for its bleachers.

The project is expected to be completed before the start of the fall baseball season in August.

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