Parks and Rec could add new baseball diamond

Published 11:20 am Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The city of Austin could get an extra baseball field, courtesy of Austin Public Schools.

The district is proposing to pay for another baseball field at Todd Park, to be used by the eighth- and ninth-grade baseball teams as well as the city.

“We actually are losing field space at the Ellis site, so our proposal is to work with Parks and Rec to develop an additional baseball field at Todd Park and be able to use it,” said Mark Stotts, finance and operations director of Austin schools. “We would pay up to $100,000 to construct it, and the city would maintain it.”

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A standard baseball field costs about $100,000 to build, according to Stotts. The district is proposing to pay for construction, yet the city would maintain the field. Both entities would share the field.

As the I.J. Holton fifth- and sixth-grade school is under construction east of Ellis Middle School, district officials have tried to rebuild the tennis courts and ball fields Ellis students aren’t able to use now. Six tennis courts were built on school property west of Neveln Elementary School, and three ball fields are being built at the Holton site, but Stotts said the Holton school’s construction meant the district was down a field specifically used for baseball.

Parks and Recreation Director Kim Underwood said while the offer sounds good, there has to be a lot of discussion between the city and the school district before anything can be built.

“It might be kind of tight,” Underwood said about the proposal to put a field by Todd Park field No. 10. “We have some questions.”

Yet Underwood said construction could begin in the spring, provided the proposal gets approved by the Parks and Recreation Board and the Austin City Council.

“We’re just starting,” Underwood said.

The Parks and Rec Board will examine the issue at 5:15 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 7, during its meeting at the Parks and Rec office.