A large group of supporters of a project to upgrade the baseball and softball facilities in Salina showed up at the Salina City Commission Meeting on Monday. Though not on the agenda, they spoke during the open public forum portion of the meeting and pushed for a vote on a previously proposed $8 million upgrade of the baseball and softball facilities in Salina.
Salina Athletic Partners, a group consisting of Salina Baseball Enterprises, Visit Salina, USD 305, Sacred Heart High School, and Kansas Wesleyan University, last year proposed the $8 million upgrade project.
Highlights of the project include upgrades to Dean Evans Stadium, notably adding artificial turf and renovating the drainage system. A second premiere baseball stadium would also be built in the area of the East Crawford complex, along with constructing two premier softball / youth baseball stadiums.
The project also includes renovations and upgrades at the Bill Burke fields.
Supporters of the project contend that Salina is losing millions of dollars because of lost tournaments, and they contend the improvements would attract more tournaments.
Total cost of the project is $8 million. Half would be paid through private funds. The city would fund the other half. The city wouldn’t need to supply any funding until 2020.
If approved, target complete date of the project is February of 2021.
Salina Mayor Trent Davis directed the group to confer with city manager Mike Schrage this week, with the proposal potentially being voted on in two weeks.