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Clawson Schools Will Fund Baseball Field Renovations

School board agrees to kick in one-third of the total cost in reconstructing the field at City Park.

Clawson schools will allocate $14,000 in a three-party plan to refurbish the infield of the baseball diamond at and replace the irrigation system.

The School Board approved the funding at its meeting Monday evening as part of a collaboration with the city and Clawson varsity baseball coach Ralph Haney.

City Council voted to kick in $14,000 at its July 3 meeting. While the estimated cost of the renovations is about $32,000, officials capped the project at $42,000 so there is room for any additional costs.

"You never knows what happens when construction starts,” City Attorney John Kingsepp said.

Haney, who is spearheading the project, said he plans to rack up his third of the total cost through fundraisers. He said he expects construction to begin in August and be completed by late-September.

The will install the new irrigation and drainage system and the construction company with the best bid will lay out the new sod infield grass, Haney said. 

"We are going to do the whole thing and we’re going to do it right," Haney said.

Haney said the field project is long overdue. League coaches in the Macomb Area Conference (MAC) voted the baseball field at City Park the worst in the Tri-Counties, he said.

Last summer, concerns about the outdated baseball field rose when a professional baseball team owner proposed a $1 million renovation project at City Park if the city would allow his minor league team to play home games there.

David Martin of Summit Professional Baseball said he would upgrade the field, fencing, locker rooms, food and concessions area, bleachers and more. Martin eventually withdrew his proposal after dozens of residents spoke out against the idea.

Haney said he did not want the field to fall under the radar.

"The field is sand and it's gravel and it's terrible on any kind of windy day," Haney said. "It’s just 15 years beyond its life expectancy."

School board member Mike Bosnic agreed. 

"It's gotten a lot of use," Bosnic said. "It could use some spiffing."

If there is money leftover from construction, Haney said he'd like to fix up other areas of the field such as fencing.

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