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Committee approves turf, contract expenses for Fitzgerald Stadium

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The Fitz (copy)

An architectural rendering was on display Jan. 23 at an open house for the new Dave Ploof Field at Fitzgerald Stadium in Rapid City. Construction was expected to begin in late July; however, the project may be delayed because of the economic downturn as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Rapid City's Public Works Committee approved spending $500,000 Tuesday for artificial turf at Fitzgerald Stadium.

The full City Council will consider final approval on the expenditure on Feb. 18.

The artificial turf is one piece of the $5 million rebuild and renovation of the baseball field and stadium near Sioux Park in west Rapid City.

The new stadium and facility is expected to begin construction in late July or after the 2020 American Legion baseball season and be ready for the 2021 campaign.

Black Hills Sports Inc., a nonprofit in Rapid City, was approved in March 2019 to receive the $5 million it requested for renovations at Fitzgerald Stadium, with $3.8 million coming from the city's Capital Improvement Fund and the balance from Vision funds.

The $500,000 expense for the new Dave Ploof Field includes supplying and installing 113,450 square feet of FieldTurf Synthetic Turf.

Rod Johnson, operations management engineer for the city's Parks and Recreation department, said if the City Council approves the contract, the installation of the synthetic turf will occur concurrently with the rest of construction.

"It involves regrading of the field, putting in an under-drain system for the rainwater that hits the turf," he said. "We went through a process about what synthetic turf company we wanted to use and purchase it through a Sourcewell contract."

Johnson said the artificial playing surface at Fitzgerald Stadium will be less expensive to maintain and will allow for a faster turn around for field maintenance when rain or other types of inclement weather impact baseball games.

"Obviously, there's no mowing, there's no fertilization, pesticides or herbicides, so that lowers the maintenance cost," Johnson said. "The cost of this turf includes the equipment that is necessary to do maintenance."

The Public Works Committee also approved a $256,438 amendment to the professional services agreement the city has with Architecture Incorporated, the company overseeing the phased design of Fitzgerald Stadium.

The scope of work includes selection and design of the artificial turf with proper drainage improvements; improved restrooms and concessions facilities; improved seating and shade amenities; new ticketing, scorekeeper, media and umpire areas; Americans with Disabilities Act compliance; and infrastructure and functional improvements for the facility.

Contact Assistant Managing Editor Nathan Thompson at nathan.thompson@rapidcityjournal.com.

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