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Crews began work recently on installing artificial turf at two fields at Minot’s South Hill Softball Complex.
The natural grass at the KC and Eagles fields, located on the west end of the South Hill Softball Complex, is being replaced with artificial turf. The new turf will allow more games to be played on the fields during spring high school and college fastpitch softball seasons. In addition, the Magic City Youth Fastpitch summer program has seen a steady increase in participants.
“The goal with this project is to get the teams on the fields sooner and keep them on the fields longer,” said Scott Collins, recreation/auditorium director for the City of Minot. “After the turf is installed, we’ll be able to schedule more games on these fields and we’ll have less down time because they don’t require as much maintenance.”
The KC field, the city’s primary field for college, high school and youth fastpitch softball games, will have a permanent fence for fastpitch games. It will host fastpitch games and some youth baseball games once the project is completed. The neighboring Eagles field, also used for fastpitch games, will have a removable fastpitch fence so the field can also be used for slowpitch games and youth baseball games. New dugouts will also be built on both fields.
The project is funded through the City of Minot’s Community Facilities Fund. In 2016, $1.74 million was awarded to the Minot Recreation Commission in conjunction with the Minot Park District for the softball field project, which will also use $260,000 in unused Community Facilities funds from a previous Recreation Commission project.
The Minot Park District is replacing the natural grass field at Corbett Field with artificial turf. That project is funded by a $1 million award from the Community Facilities Fund to the Minot Park District in 2015, and $300,000 from the Minot Park District. After discussion with user groups, it was decided to install artificial turf at Corbett Field rather than at one of the fields at the Hoeven Baseball Complex in southwest Minot. Corbett Field hosts baseball teams from Minot State University, Minot High School and Bishop Ryan in addition to the Minot Vistas and Minot Metros legion baseball teams.
“The three fields are being done by the same contractors as essentially one project, but there are two separate bids; one for Corbett and one for the softball fields,” Collins said. “They are being done at the same time for the sake of efficiency, which should help them be finished quicker.”
The three fields have a Nov. 17 deadline, but Collins anticipates an earlier completion if the recent favorable weather continues.