Baseball field relocation a split decision in Derby - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Baseball field relocation a split decision in Derby

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Derby is looking to relocate its high school's baseball field. (WFSB photo) Derby is looking to relocate its high school's baseball field. (WFSB photo)
DERBY, CT (WFSB) -

The Derby High School baseball field is likely going to be moved, according to the town.

A controversial decision about the relocation could come as early as Tuesday night during a public hearing.

Historically, Derby has fared well in sports, especially in football, track and cross country.

"In recent years our track team and our cross country teams have done exceptionally well on the state level," said Art Gerkens, Derby Ward alderman.

Combine an aging gravel track at Leo Ryan Athletic Field that many said is unfit for home meets and a chewed up football field next to it, upgrades are needed.

The state Bonding Commission awarded a $2.9 million grant to pay for it all; however, it's just one problem.

"The baseball field is located here too," Gerkens said. "It's just not all going to work at the same complex as it is now."

According to the school's superintendent, Matthew Conway, an architect considered what's feasible and cost effective and submitted two proposals.

One thought was to locate the baseball team to Witek Park on the same field used by youth soccer. It's an idea that has not been well-received by the soccer community.

"I think by taking away from now them you are going to upset a lot of parents, grandparents and especially the children that use it," Gerkens said.

Another idea being considered by the Baseball Field Relocation Committee is to move the team across town to a field next to Bradley Elementary School.

"In the architect's plan, he had laid out fields so it would limit any reduction in current field space that they have over there as well as creating additional field space at Bradley," Conway said.

Both Conway and Gerkens said they feel the community input is vital for the project that could soon impact both sides of town.

Tuesday's meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Derby Middle School cafeteria on Chatfield Street.

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