Huber Heights mulls new baseball diamond, improvements

The Huber Heights City Council is set to discuss a plan Monday night to renovate a baseball field at Thomas A. Cloud Park. BOB GARLOCK/STAFF
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The Huber Heights City Council is set to discuss a plan Monday night to renovate a baseball field at Thomas A. Cloud Park. BOB GARLOCK/STAFF

Current fields in ‘horrible’ conditions, says councilman.

Investments in Huber Heights parks — including major renovations to a field at Thomas A. Cloud Park — are on deck in a proposal to be considered by council.

Called a “Home Run for the Cloud,” the plan by Councilwoman Nancy Byrge and other council members and stakeholders is on the agenda for a first reading during the council meeting. Byrge introduced the plan, which calls for a major renovation of a baseball diamond, Field #1, during a recent council work session.

“The athletic fields in our city parks are being used to grow our future Wayne Warriors and Bethel Bees,” Byrge said. “However, the fields are in terrible condition and lack many safety features.”

“We owe it to our young athletes to develop first-class facilities for their use,” she said.

Added Councilman Richard Shaw, “They’re horrible. There’s no other way to express it.”

The resolution to be introduced Monday night authorizes the city manager — who served on the planning team — to begin the process of project design and description for the renovation. It declares the intent and commitment of the city to making improvements to the park upon successfully identifying funding “through direct revenue and/or sponsorship funding.”

Byrge estimates indicate upgrades “will conservatively cost” between $100,000-$250,000. She further indicated the entire project would be funded through sponsorship, grants and fundraiser activities by sports organizations.

The proposal developed so far suggests the field be built as a “premier” baseball field designed to Little League specifications — fully fenced, with enclosed dugouts, press box, scoreboard, netting, lights and batting cage.

“It would be a fully enclosed dugout to keep the kids out of the weather,” she said. “It would also be fully fenced in front to protect kids from fly balls.”

Byrge said if the city were to update three fields as such, the city would become eligible to host Little League Baseball State tournaments. Shaw said he believes the city could see an economic boom that “could easily exceed $510,000” per weekend tournament, a stat he attributed to conversations with persons in other communities.

Byrge addressed concerns that expansion or renovation of baseball facilities could hinder the ability for other sports to use the land, too. She indicated the use of a strategic plan could assist the city in developing guidance on how to best utilize space across the city’s parks. Council will potentially meet during the next work session with a consultant whose services, if purchased by the city, would include development of such a strategic plan.

Monday’s council meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 6131 Taylorsville Road.

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