COLUMBUS — Brad Hansen tried to touch all the bases Monday night while outlining long-range plans for developing a baseball complex on the campus of the new Columbus High School, but a first step in moving forward is getting the district to play ball.
That’s how Hansen summed up Columbus Baseball Association’s preliminary plans to pursue the estimated $3 million project beginning later this year with a goal of completing the two-field complex and related facilities by the fall of 2021.
The complex, with a possible 8-acre location of currently open space on the southeast portion of the campus between the high school and 38th Street, would open for competition in the spring of 2022.
“The CBA has committed $50,000 to continue (this development) process,” Hansen told Columbus Public Schools board members, who gave no signal on which direction they were leaning on the CBA presentation.
Developing future athletic facilities on the Discoverer campus along Lost Creek Parkway, 33rd Avenue and 38th Street has been on the school board’s radar since before construction started on the new high school in 2014.
Future baseball, soccer or softball fields, along with tennis courts, were among the suggested uses for open spaces on the campus during the last four years, Superintendent Troy Loeffelholz said Monday night.
There is the potential for a large footprint on the campus that might be filled by athletic fields, he said.
Hansen said the community is currently limited to one adult-size baseball field — Pawnee Park Field, a more than 70-year-old facility that is home to high school and American Legion teams.
No additional practice field exists.
Game scheduling is an issue, with the CHS teams playing up to 75 games in the spring months, Hansen said. The three Legion teams play approximately the same number of games during the summer months.
The lack of fields in the community restricts the number of tournaments that can be held here, Hansen said.
“Two additional fields is the main focus, building one field at a time,” Hansen said during his presentation to the board.
Keeping the Pawnee Park baseball complex is a priority, he said.
Funding for the proposed project, according to the CBA, could come from grants, private donations, CPS and the city.