Kaukauna Youth Baseball plans $3 million complex – Appleton Post Crescent
HARRISONÂ – Kaukauna Youth Baseball plans to build a $3 million, four-diamond baseball complex on vacant land at the southeast corner of State 55 and County KK.
The privately funded development would encompass 18 to 20 acres and feature three diamonds for Little League and one larger diamond for American Legion Baseball.Â The diamonds would have artificial turf infields and grass outfields.
The facility also would include aÂ concessions stand, restrooms,Â batting cages,Â a pavilion, a playground andÂ 220 parking stalls.
“We really want aÂ top-of-the-line complex for our kids,” said Mark Bartels, president of the nonprofit Kaukauna Youth Baseball. “We have a large number of kids. Baseball is growing in our town.”
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Kaukauna Youth BaseballÂ serves ages 5 to 18 and has grown from 300 players in 1985 to more than 700 players today. ItÂ currently plays games at Riverside and Horeshoe parks in Kaukauna. The new complex would allow the organization to hold larger weekend tournaments for traveling teams.
“We max out at about eight teams per age group right now,” Bartels told USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin. “We turn away so many communities to play at our parks because we don’t have enough space.”
Harrison Village Manager Travis Parish met with landowner Gene Frederickson and representatives of Kaukauna Youth Baseball on Thursday. Parish welcomedÂ the development and said the site makes sense because it isÂ located along two main corridors.
“The village of Harrison has a lack of recreational facility and park space,” he said. “This would obviously be an enhancement to our community.Â It’s something we need.”
A site plan for the complex shows the potential for a full-size soccer field and two smaller soccer fields to be built on land immediately to the south. Parish said the parking lot could serve both the baseball complex and the soccer fields.
Fundraising for the baseball complex has begun. Leaders will apply for a Major League Baseball grant,Â seek sponsorshipsÂ andÂ solicit donations.
“We would like to break ground by the middle orÂ end of next year,” Bartels said. “To be playing on it in 2018 would be our ultimate goal, pending the fundraising phase of it.”
Bartels said the Kaukauna Islanders, which playÂ in the Northeast Wisconsin Men’s Senior Baseball League, could join the fundraising effort and play games on the larger diamond. The team currently plays its games at Bayorgeon Field in Kaukauna.
“There is a lot of excitement about the project,” Bartels said. “Hopefully, we can get enough donors to come forward to help us make this happenÂ and create a beautiful park for the kids to play on.”
Duke Behnke: 920-993-7176, or firstname.lastname@example.org; on Twitter @DukeBehnke
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