Drake Field artificial turf project delayed, as turf supply shortage hits contractor

Parks and Recreation Director Nathan Powell said the company selected to install the artificial turf at Drake Field, Mid-American Sports Construction, was unable to get artificial turf this year as originally expected. Despite the uncertainty of when the contractor will install the turf, Powell anticipates the crews will arrive to complete the roughly $ 410,000 project by spring.

“You can’t get artificial turf this year like you expected. You could get it by December. Nobody thinks it will be ready until June and they believe they will have the lawn before December, ”Powell said during the August 12th meeting of the Parks and Recreation Board. “They could even do it this year, but they would do it once they got the right temperature in the spring.”

Sports complex director Jeremy Nielsen said Mitchell’s Drake Field is one of 12 the Missouri-based sports field construction company can’t install until fall.

Although the turf has not yet arrived, the crews will begin the dirt work that must be done within a week for the turf to be installed. Nielsen said the dirt work crews are due to start on Monday will allow the turf to be installed within two weeks of when it arrives. However, he noted that it will also depend on weather conditions.

“They say 40 degrees is the ideal temperature for the installation and it will take about two weeks to lay the lawn. It doesn’t have to be 40 degrees for two weeks, there can be some fluctuating temperatures during this period. “Said Nielsen. “The lawn company says they have 120 days to get the lawn, which would be around December.”

The project includes the installation of artificial turf in the infield and around the backstop area and bullpens. The outside field will be about 6 feet of lawn while the rest will remain grass. In addition, the backstop and some fences around the diamond will be replaced as part of the overall project.

“The color of the turf will change from brown to green for a 6-foot arched strip that goes out into the field,” said Nielsen.

Adding artificial turf to Drake Field, which is adjacent to Cadwell Park, was a shared goal of local baseball executives and the teams that use the baseball diamond. Mitchell Post 18 head coach Luke North said the turf infield will give Drake Field the ability to play games and drills almost immediately after a rain event, which is a challenge both Mitchell baseball teams can address with the existing grass Have placed the infield.

Dakota Wesleyan University and the Mitchell Baseball Association have both pledged $ 65,000 for the turf project, while the Drake family, after whom the field is named, has pledged $ 30,000. The Exchange Club also participated with a commitment of $ 15,000. Once the project is complete, DWU and the Mitchell Baseball Association will place their team logos on the infield. The Drake family will also have a logo on the infield.

During the Parks and Recreation Board meeting on August 12, Board President Chris Retterath raised his concerns about where the Dakota Wesleyan University and Mitchell baseball teams would play baseball in 2022, if Drake Field by June 1, 2022 or beyond is built. Nielsen said Cadwell Park would serve as an alternative option to DWU baseball if the turf project isn’t completed before June 2022.

Powell suggested setting a tough deadline for completing the project by June 1, 2022. If contractors can’t install the turf by the June 1, 2022 deadline, Powell said a fee of $ 100-150 would be charged for each day of the project completion date going beyond the deadline.

“There will be a deadline to be ready by June 1st next year,” Powell said.

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