Official: City Approves Turf Project

Dirt will soon be out of style at Dean Evans Stadium.

Salina Baseball Enterprises received the green light from the Salina City Commission Monday to refurbish the baseball complex which was constructed in 1991. Byron Tomlins, who was on the original committee that helped build the stadium, was elated to hear the Salina City Commission approved the project by a unanimous 5-0 vote.

The renovation, funded by donors and without the help of taxes, will cost around $1.8 million. Kansas Wesleyan and USD 305 also contributed.

Half the cost will go toward artificial turf. The estimated life of the turf was 10 to 12 years, with replacement cost between 50 and 60 percent of the initial $975,000 investment.

Other areas of the project include:

  • Netting
  • Bullpens
  • Batting Cages
  • Backstop
  • Protection For Dugouts
  • New Restrooms
  • Patio

Tomlins also said SBE secured naming rights for the East Crawford Recreation Area. Pending approval by the city, ECRA would be named for a prominent Salina family that has pledged $650,000.

In addition to the project at Dean Evans Stadium, Tomlins said SBE has reached an agreement with USD 305 to add artificial turf to both softball diamonds at Salina South High School. Those fields will be shared by both South and Salina Central as well as Kansas Wesleyan and possibly Sacred Heart High School.

Back in December 2019, the Salina City Commission unanimously approved staff to begin the process of putting together a contract to enter into a public/private partnership for an $8 million upgrade of the baseball and softball facilities in Salina. Half of the funds would’ve been paid by the city.

However, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic reached Salina, forcing the postponement of the project.

The goal to finish all renovations has been set for February 1, 2021 or no later than March, 1 barring any delays.