By Scott Smith Kokomo Tribune
---- — The Kokomo Common Council shifted $112,000 Monday to pay for a field makeover at CFD Investments Stadium, the venerable baseball venue at Highland Park.
Kokomo Parks Superintendent Randy Morris said the city has contracted with Turf Dogs, Indianapolis, to tear out the current field, re-landscape the grounds and install new grass.
“We’re redoing the playing surface,” Morris said. “It’s gotten to the point where it needs to be completely redone.”
The new field will have a well irrigation system and should be ready for play next spring. Morris said contractors will likely be on site to begin work this week.
In March, Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight indicated he would form a committee to look at the stadium, which he singled out as a renovation target in his 2013 State of the City address in March.
“It was partially prompted by the last semi-state they had there, with Western, where we got some feedback about the parking, the restroom facilities and the press box,” Goodnight said in April. “The playing surface itself is perfect, but the facility itself is not what it used to be.”
The 16-member committee met and deliberated and then came to the city council last month. Instead of recommending an overhaul of the CFD field, the committee recommended building a new baseball stadium, either along the new U.S. 31 bypass or downtown, and performing a facelift on CFD.
In particular, concerns about accessibility for the disabled and elderly may have made the idea of overhauling the Highland Park stadium prohibitive.
Morris said it’s possible the dugouts and concession area may get some attention down the road, but he said “step one is the field, step two is everything else.”
Surveying crews determined the field has significant dips, and Morris said the field will be re-crowned as part of the work.
“When it is in, this new field will be perfect,” he said.