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The student news site of De Smet Jesuit High School

The Mirror

The student news site of De Smet Jesuit High School

The Mirror

Turf’s Up

New synthetic turf infield expected to be completed by start of baseball season
The+baseball+field+will+have+full+artificial+turf%2C+additional+spectator+seating%2C+new+batting+cages%2C+and+new+restrooms+and+concessions.+The+turf+on+the+infield+is+scheduled+to+be+completed+by+the+start+of+the+baseball+season.+Photo+courtesy+of+Hastings+%2B+Chivetta+Architects%2C+Inc.
The baseball field will have full artificial turf, additional spectator seating, new batting cages, and new restrooms and concessions. The turf on the infield is scheduled to be completed by the start of the baseball season. Photo courtesy of Hastings + Chivetta Architects, Inc.

It’s official, construction is underway on the new synthetic turf infield for the baseball field.

Preliminary work began Monday and is scheduled to be completed right before the start of spring practices in February.

“I’m obviously very excited,” Head Baseball Coach Tim Canavan said. “I think it’s gonna make us a much more attractive and a much more productive program.”

The school struggled with maintaining the field in the past and was accumulating many rainouts.

“We’re going to be able to spend more time taking ground balls and working on defense, than we were in the past,” Canavan said. “In the past, we might have spent part of our practice working on the infield.”

The idea was brought up through a joint effort after coaches and players noticed the field was not improving.

“We as a school were starting to notice that we were putting a lot of money into the infield and we weren’t getting the results that we wanted,” Athletic Director Harold Barker said. “We were at a point where we were trying to figure out, do we want to put resources towards something that is not really getting better, or do we want to just almost start over and get something fresh for the facility and for baseball?”

Workers are currently digging trenches for a protective fence and surveying the field. They will then remove the irrigation system, remove 7 inches of dirt, install a drainage system, then install synthetic turf on the infield and bullpens.

“A lot of it will depend on weather and materials, things of that nature,” Barker said. “But we’ll be working right up to that deadline of February 26.”

After the season wraps up, then construction will start on the outfield, to modernize the facility to its max potential.

The school’s last renovations occurred in 2017 when the infield dirt was replaced.

“I’m just excited to get back out there,” infielder Michael Wunderlich ‘24 said. “And play those games that would normally get rained out.”

An artist rendering shows the locations for new synthetic turf infield, outfield, batting cages and multi-purpose field. It also includes a removable fence, additional spectator seating, new restrooms and concessions, and new storage. Photo courtesy of Hastings + Chivetta Architects, Inc.

When the project is complete there will be a new synthetic infield and outfield, removable fence, additional spectator seating, new batting cages, multipurpose field, new restrooms and concessions, and new storage.

“When baseball players are deciding where they want to go to school, whether it’s high school or college they’re looking at facilities and where they’re going to play,” Canavan said. “And the nicer the offering the more enticing the place is.”

 

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Hank Hardage, Opinions Editor
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