August 25, 2006

Hoy Field Renovations Earn Approval

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A proposed resolution to significantly upgrade Hoy Field was given final approval for the first phase of a planned renovation and preliminary approval for the second phase on Aug. 22 by the City of Ithaca Planning and Development Board.

The changes will add 11 parking spaces, turn the baseball field counter-clockwise to better fit the allocated space, renew the drainage system, change the surface from natural grass to artificial turf and rebuild the surrounding bleachers, dugouts, fences and press box. The proposed budget for the work is $3 million, and construction rights have been given to LeChase — the same company that is currently renovating Lynah Rink — and Clark Companies.

The first phase, which is scheduled for completion in March 2007, involves shifting the field so that home plate sits in the corner adjacent to the Grumman Squash Courts. The left-field foul line will run parallel to the parking garage and center field will face Rhodes Hall.

According to the proposal submitted by project manager Gary Wilhelm, the Athletics Department hopes to have the field completed in time for the 2007 season. The proposed schedule called for construction to have already begun in July, with the artificial surface being installed in September or October. The plan also specified that demolition needed to begin in August or early September to install the artificial grass in the fall, since the grass needs to be in place before the winter. It’s unclear if Phase I will be completed in time for the start of the new season if the grass is not installed according to the schedule.

Phase II received preliminary approval, and no date of completion has been set. The plan calls for additional parking accessible through the south end of the Hoy Field parking garage. Trees will be placed beyond the outfield to create a “batter’s eye” in center field, and supplementary landscaping will occur around a new path that will wrap the field between Hoy Road and the ballpark.

Construction is expected to temporarily remove 15 parking spaces. The new spaces have been strongly recommended for visitors’ use by the City of Ithaca Planning and Development Board.