A prime topic during Monday’s meeting of the Ardmore Regional Park Authority was the renovations currently underway on all eight of the infields of the Ardmore Softball Complex.
“It’s high time that we do it,” said Ardmore Parks and Recreation director Teresa Ervin. “I think we’ve only redone them twice since the fields were built. We’ve been needing to adjust our sprinklers and work on the lips.”
A “lip” is a bump that develops over time where the dirt outfield meets up with the grass infield. The bumps can cause both drainage and safety issues. In order to insure that everything is level, the company undertaking the work uses a laser level and a computer. In addition to fixing the lips, other work underway involves bringing in new dirt and sod where needed.
“Even though they are in the same complex, every field is different,” Ervin said. “It just depends on what dirt you have to have put in or if we need to put down new sod.” And the “dirt” being added has to be a special type referred to as ‘select.’ Ervin went on to explain the entire process.
“We bring in the dirt and we crown the infields and get them to where they are supposed to be, whether that’s up, down or whichever way they need to be,” Ervin said. “We put down the right mixture of dirt, put some infield conditioner in, and then we till it all together.” From there the fields are ready to play ball.
“Under ideal conditions, they could come in one week and have all eight fields done. But all of this weather has set us back,” Ervin said. “What should have taken a week is now going on two weeks, and they probably won’t get to finish this week either.”
She stressed that this was in no way the company’s fault and that they can they work late into the evenings by turning on the lights. She also said that at least four of the fields would definitely be completed by the time of the next tournament on August 24.
Another item of note from the meeting was an update about the work on The Clubhouse. All of the bid specs are currently in house, and they are about half way through the review of the hundreds of pages of documents. Once the review is complete, the project can go out to bid.
“We think we can get them out to bid within 30 days,” Ervin said. “From there it’s another 30 days for the bidding process.” After that the bids will be reviewed for 10 to 15 days before being awarded.