Creek swamps baseball field, prompts swap

By Shelby Stewart
Staff Writer
Brandon Twp.- The varsity baseball field will be changing to the middle school within the next few years, due to encroachment from the creek at the current fields.
“The main field behind Harvey Swanson, the creek is encroaching,” said John Thompson, director of operations at Brandon schools. “So to get that repaired and stop the encroachment, because it actually got to the player area for this season, we had to go and get the DNR to give us permission to do the repair, not a permanent fix but a repair so that they can function this year and next year if necessary.”
The current varsity field would need over $100,000 in retaining walls for a long term fix, as well as going through an approval process with the Department of Environmental Quality due to affecting the flow of the creek. A long term fix would also include moving the outfield fence in by a minimum of ten feet.
“So you can see there was just a lot of time and work to put in,” said Thompson. “So we focused on the middle school field becoming the varsity field and the current varsity field becoming the back up field, or the lower field.”

The project is planned for the fall of this year pending board approval, since the baseball and softball season is in the spring. The board approved for a request for proposal to go out for the project 6-0. Vice president Lisa Kavalhuna was absent with notice.
“It’s in the $200,000 to do that work, but it’d be there forever at that point,” he said. “On the current varsity field, we would move the fence in 10 to 15 feet anyways.”
The current repair at the varsity field was approved by the DNR.
“We had to get permission from the DNR to do what we did, which was to back-fill with large stones and put a tarp underneath that,” said Thompson.