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New softball field planned

Toronto, school district team up behind high school stadium

March 3, 2012
By MARK J. MILLER - Staff writer ((Miller can be contacted at , The Herald-Star

TORONTO - The city and city school district are teaming up to create a new girls' softball field in the city.

The new field, which will be directly behind the visitors' bleacher at the Toronto High School Stadium, will feature new playing turf, fencing, backstop and bases, according to Mayor John Geddis and Fred Burns, city school district superintendent.

"We're going to pay (contractors) to do it," said Geddis, adding the city is picking up the $10,000 cost for construction of the field while the school district is using its property. "City workers will do some of the work."

"In the past, the girls used Simpson Park softball field, and there was a separate field for the Toronto High School girls' softball team," said Burns, adding both fields are on school property but construction of the new district building eliminated one of the fields. "We're going to take over the Simpson Park field and use it for the Toronto High School girls' softball team. We're doing this because the city league girls' softball team would have no place to practice until the high school season was over."

Burns also said there was an overlap between the city and high school leagues, so two softball fields were necessary.

"We had three meetings between the city softball league and the school district," continued Burns. "We also got the mayor involved."

Burns said the city had no available land for a new softball field, but the school district did. He added it wasn't the first time the city and school district had teamed up for improvements for youth recreation and sports opportunities.

"(The city) had assumed ownership of our baseball field 15 years ago to make improvements before it was returned to us," Burns said, adding both looked for possible sites for a new field. The city league will be able to use both fields, added Burns.

"(With good weather) the field could be completed within a month," said Geddis.

"The field will be big enough to play games on," said Burns. "Mostly, it will be used for practice. This is just another example how the city and the school district work together."

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