Dino ballfield in shambles, coach tells board
In her first Carbon School District board of education meeting as a new member, Jaynie Rae Nielsen heard about the number one problem that school districts seem have year in and year out.
Nielsen, who was appointed by the board last month and was sworn in on Tuesday night to fulfill the remaining term of Debbie Blackburn who resigned in September, heard that the baseball field at Carbon High has some large problems, and even without have specific numbers on the amount of money it will take, the district will have to do something about it.
The presentation about the field came from Troy Moynier, the school's baseball coach and from Carbon High principal Greg Stanfield.
While a baseball field would seem to many to be the least of the worries for a school board, player safety on that field is. And that is what Moynier was talking about as he addressed them.
"The original field was built in about 1979," said Moynier. "It was built without considering some problems in that area and after about 10 years of play the team started playing their games at the Helper field."
The field was eventually revamped and play began on it again. When Lane Herrick became baseball coach he spearheaded many new projects to upgrade the field, but as the years have gone on deterioration has affected much of what was done. And there have been so many projects over the years, including one sprinkling system after another that "no one knows how may sprinkling systems have been put in" on the field, said Moynier.
Moynier sees a future for the field, but not without some revamping. In fact a lot of people have suggested to him that the district ought to just start over as far as the field is concerned.
Snack bar condemned
Between poor grass surfaces (uneven and patchy) and fences that are failing a final blow came this fall when the fire marshal condemned the concessions building, which also holds the announcers and scoring box.
"They just told us it shouldn't be used anymore and if we did try to use they would have the state come down and condemn it as well," he said.
And while there are many problems with the entire field, one that has never really been addressed at all is the matter of rest rooms for the facility.
"We brought in one portable restroom last season, but the door wouldn't lock," Moynier told the group as the audience in the room chuckled. "That created its own set of problems."
Moynier provided a long list of problems for the board to look at. They included:
*Weeds around the field out of control most years.
*The wood fence hides the weeds around the field from the grandstand, but it is made of particle board which not only needs painting every year, but is starting to disintegrate.
*Many of the chainlink areas are falling apart.
*A drainage system that was installed when the football field was revamped several years ago isn't working and part of the field often has water on it.
*Third base dugout has some structural problems.
*The outfield is very uneven.
*The warning track around the field varies in size. (The warning track is a section of grass around the outside of the field that warns players who may be running to catch a fly ball that they are near to the fence.)
Moynier said the dream field would be one that has the public area built into the hill with restrooms and concrete bleachers.
"I think something similar to what the college has would be great," he said.
But he also said, understanding that money is a big issue, that the minimum that needs to be done is to bring the concessions building up to code, have someone spray the weeds around the field (and make them accountable for it), have someone repair and repaint the fence and repair the dugouts as needed.
"Actually I think that Troy is minimizing the problems with the field and facilities there," said board president Barry Deeter, who has helped with coaching at the school in the past. "The facility needs work and I think we ought to do it up right."
The discussion then turned to when to do anything if they could. To revamp a baseball field properly much of it needs to be done during the growing season when the field is being used. Some suggestions came that the team could possbily play on the college field or in Helper for a season while things were being done. But then the reality of money brought any speculation at that point under control. What would it cost to fix everything or even revamp the field into Moynier' description of a "dream" field.
"I would propose we look at several options," said acting superintendent Patsy Bueno. "I think we sould look at this because our team at the high school does well and they need a nice place to play."
She saidt she will have Deon Kone (director of facilities for the district) and some others look at the field and come up with some rough cost estimates for the next meeting.
"Then we can talk about plans for the short and long term," she said.
But the discussion wasn't quite over. Board member Wayne Woodward asked some questions about the drainage system and those that answered basically told him the trench drain that was put in when the football field was rebuilt did work at all.
"I even took a shovel and dug a trench to where the drain is supposed to pull the water off and it didn't drain," Moynier said.
Woodward said he wants to see some accountability for that drainage failure.
"As part of the report you do on the field, I want you to address the drainage system problem," he told Bueno. "I want to know who would be accountable for that not working."