Ballfields will have new scoreboards and fewer bad hops by spring thanks to cooperative efforts by the Mighty Pioneers youth sports organization, the Town of Sevastopol and the Sevastopol School District.
Fundraising efforts this year surpassed expectations, so the town launched several projects, said Mark Haen, town board member and park committee chair.
“This year we kind of swung for the fences,” Haen said, noting the fundraising for the projects covered a batting cage, the first scoreboard replacement since the fields were built three decades ago, and removal of all-grass base paths.
“It’s going to be a safer, better playing surface all around,” Haen said.
Haen said heavy rains and a cold snap in late October delayed the project, but during the unseasonably warm November, contractors completed much of the $20,000 high-school infield project.
“We’re looking forward to playing some ball,” said Brooke Tanck, Sevastopol Schools athletic director and gifted-and-talented instructor.
Initially, the school, the town and the Mighty Pioneers started raising funds for the scoreboards, but the joint fundraising project brought in enough to pay for the high school and Institute Cubs infield repairs and bullpens, too.
Eventually, the groups hope to replace dugouts and complete more improvements to make the fields more user-friendly. An anonymous donation gave the projects an extra boost.
The Mighty Pioneers conducted a fundraiser along with the town park committee and raised $53,705 for the scoreboards, plus an additional $13,000.
Mighty Pioneers board president Tom Ash said about 180 youth up to freshmen in college utilize the ballfields each year. He estimated the total cost of this year’s work at $85,000, and said Peninsula Properties’ owners lowered their price as a donation to the project.
The town also is seeking grants for accessible restrooms and recently learned it was awarded a Destination Door County Community Investment Fund grant for $70,000 for the creation of a new restroom facility that is ADA compliant and includes men’s, women’s and family bathrooms.
The school district wish list also includes adding batting cages, South-softball-field dugouts for about $18,000, team benches at the church field for $2,244, and ad-portable fences at the church field for about $2,039.