Millikin Begins Baseball Field Construction


J. Thomas McNamara

     If you’ve driven south on Fairview Avenue and looked east, you may have witnessed some earthmoving underway and wondering what was going on, immediately behind the Decatur Indoor Sports Center.

     The earthmoving equipment is moving dirt to prepare the site for Millikin’s new state-of-the-art Workman baseball complex.
I dropped by there last Wednesday night to see for myself what has been done to date. I was headed to pickup our grandson, Gavin, who was practicing at Holy Family Catholic Church with the Decatur Catholic Dawgs seventh and eighth grade football team. Millikin officials are hoping (I would like to write praying, but that would not be politically correct in this day and age) the weather cooperates in order for it to be completed in time for the Big Blue to open their 2019 season in their new facilities as scheduled in March which is six months away.
Site preparation is underway and Millikin’s Bryan Marshall advised the university ran into a minor situation when they learned they had to move a city water line before they could begin. Nothing comes easy for the university.
     Marshall said there are three packages, or phases, to the construction process with the site preparation the first. “It involves the prep work and field installation. The second includes all the concrete work to the site and the third is the actual building, stands and landscaping,” wrote he in his construction update to the Decatur Tribune.
     “We hope to have the field ready for our first game in March,” penned he. “We may have to open the season without the complex being 100 percent finished. We are really dependent on the weather at this point,” wrote Marshall, candidly, frankly and honestly.
     “It is a design-build project. We are aiming to get the field completed before January followed by the grandstands/locker room building in early spring, if the weather cooperates.
     “The field will be artificial turf which, like the Workman Family Softball Field, will allow for earlier use in the spring and quicker use after rain. We will be using a turf that will very closely match the play of natural turf and will limit the splash sometimes seen in earlier artificial fields.
“The field includes sunken dugouts, batting cages, home and away bullpens. The building will have a team room, rest rooms, concessions, storage, bleachers, fixed back seating, upper level patio and a press box,” concluded Marshall’s update to the Decatur Tribune.
I will have more on this developing in a future print edition of the Decatur Tribune.

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