GLOVERSVILLE - The Gloversville Enlarged School District is building two new fields for modified and junior varsity softball and baseball.
The softball field is being built at the middle school and the baseball field is being constructed at Boulevard Elementary School, partially on an existing soccer field.
Athletic Director Mike DeMagistris said the fields are expected to be ready for play by spring.
Part of a new baseball field at Boulevard Elementary School, which will be on the soccer field, in Gloversville is shown today. The Gloversville Enlarged School District also will construct a softball field at the middle school.
The Leader-Herald/Levi Pascher
Neither of these fields will include lights, and DeMagistris said he is hopeful to have dugouts installed soon, but they are not a priority at this time. He said the district will have backstops built before games begin.
"The facilities will benefit the students because it gives them their own fields and allows them to get to practice with far more ease because in the case of the middle school, it is right outside the building," said DeMagistris.
The school district previously used a softball field and a baseball field at the Gloversville Little League park on Harrison Street. For years, the district had an informal agreement to use the fields if the district would prepare the fields before games in the spring.
Little League officials recently asked the district to consider a formal long-term agreement to use the fields and contribute money to repair and maintain the fields.
DeMagistris said after considering the costs, district officials decided to build their own fields.
"I would like to thank the Gloversville Little League for allowing us to use that field for all of these years," DeMagistris said.
With construction of the new fields, the district will have a varsity baseball field at Husky Field at Park Terrace School, the new junior varsity field at Boulevard School, a varsity softball field at the middle school and the new junior varsity softball field, also at the middle school.
DeMagistris said because varsity and JV teams play games on the same days and times, the district needs more than one baseball field and one softball field.
The new fields will cost the district $18,526, Superintendent Michael Vanyo said.
The expense did not require school board approval, Board of Education President Peter Semione said. Maintenance and repair issues, which the fields were filed under, don't need to come before the board.
"We have a responsibility to our taxpayers to save on things like this when we can," DeMagistris said. "We, as a district, felt it was time to have our own fields."
Varsity Soccer Coach Paul Ligon and DeMagistris said the baseball field being built on part of the soccer field at Boulevard School would have no effect on the soccer players' safety.
"It is certainly not an ideal situation for game play because with dirt, the ball will bounce different and rolls faster on that surface, but our players will be able to adapt just fine," said Ligon. "It could impact their decision to slide, but from a coaching standpoint, we don't want them to do that because they will then be out of position."
Little League President David Karpinski said he contacted the district around April to see if it was interested in helping with improvements at the Little League fields, but he was told by the district in June that it would be building its own fields.
The Little League has been receiving contributions to pay for improvements at the Little League field, which is known as Parkhurst Field, said Karpinski.
"What I loved about the district playing on our fields was we had a lot of young kids playing teeball and minors right next to them, looking over at the fields and watching the players they aspire to be," said Karpinski. "I absolutely wanted them to stay, but I understand we are a private entity and there was nothing requiring them to stay."