Copyright 2014 Cheyenne Newspapers, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
The plan is to refurbish the four existing fields at the Converse Softball Complex with new and improved field surfaces, outfield fencing, and drainage systems, said Todd Feezer, assistant director of the city's Parks and RecreationDepartment.
Not only will the existing fields get a facelift, the city plans to convert one of the existing fields into a "championship-style" field specifically designed for girls softball.
The championship-style field will feature 210-foot outfield fences, which are a bit shorter than typical unisex softball field fences.
"The dimensions of the field will be size-specific for girls," Feezer said.
Mayor Rick Kaysen said, "We are focusing very much on the softball field for the young ladies and we are also making improvements to the other fields in the immediate area as well."
He added, "Our youth (softball) programs in Cheyenne are pretty doggone strong when you think about the championships they have brought to the Capital City."
Feezer said the girls field will have "better lights, better dug outs, and better seating" than current softball facilities in the area.
The new and upgraded facilities will allow the city to host more state and regional softball tournaments in the future.
Kaysen said, "You really have to have a quality field if you want your city to host these kinds of tournaments."
Feezer said, "Quite a few teams from Colorado won't come up here to play because our facilities have been a bit lackluster."
He is confident that the improved Converse Softball Complex will change that.
Councilwoman Georgia Broyles expressed excitement over the new girls facilities.
"(The girls field has) been a vision for well over nine years, so I'm really thrilled to see it," Broyles said.
Feezer said his department is in the bidding process with construction contractors. The bidding process has been delayed due to issues with the cost of the original design plans.
"We may have bit off more than we can chew with some of the design and engineering,"
Feezer said. "So we wanted to get down to something that we could afford."
Feezer said it is possible, but fairly unlikely, that the construction could be finished in time for this year's softball season.
"We may be able to get the first pitch off on that (new) field (this season), but we really have to get with the construction industry to see if it's possible to get it done," Feezer said.
Part of the challenge of getting the project finished in time for this season is the fact that softball season overlaps quite a bit with construction season, Feezer said.
"It is really hard to construct and not affect (the softball) season," he said.
Feezer added, "My gut tells me we aren't going to get the first pitch in this season."
More likely, construction will begin just after softball season in August, he said.
Kaysen agreed. "We are striving to have (the new field) playable in 2014, but spring might be a bit of a stretch," he said.