YORKTON - Yorkton Minor Baseball is moving forward with a project to replace the batting cages at Jubilee Park.
Tom Courville, spokesperson for YMB said the overall replacement project is expected to cost $85,000 although some finals numbers are still being determined, adding a recent $20,000 donation from the Kinsmen Club of Yorkton has been a major step forward for the project.
“The Kinsmen donation was huge for us to continue with the project,” he said.
The replacement was kick-started by YMB budgeting $30,000 toward the project, and another donor has added $15,000, but details of that donation will not be revealed until early summer, said Courville.
The $65,000 committed so far still leaves YMB needing $20,000 to complete the overall project, which is already under way at the park, and a donation link has been set up on the group’s website where donations of $25 or more will have the donor’s name on signage at the cages.
The project will replace batting cages first installed in 2004, just before the city hosted the Western Canadian finals in 2005 and 2006, said Courville.
As it turned out the cages were installed at the time “in the lowest part of the park. All the water off the Bantam diamond pools there.”
In 2010, when the water table was high freezing in the winter caused pilings at the cages to lift and a concrete slab to crack, he said, adding the structure “was tilting to the side,” and ultimately was deemed unsafe.
The new facility has addressed the low spot issue by having fill brought in to raise the area by two-feet, said Courville, adding they actually had material from the Darlington Street roundabout project brought in.
“When you’re batting you’ll be standing on Darlington,” he said.
The old pitching machines also rusted over time, said Courville.
“It all sort of fell into disrepair,” he said.
When completed, the new facility will have four pitching machines in place.
Courville said they expect to have the cages ready for coaches to be able to pitch to players using ‘L’ screens this season, and the pitching machines maybe by late in the season.
Down the road Courville said YMB would like to also add batting cages for use at the JayCee Beach fields.