Work underway on Dobson expansion

Tom Price Jr.

The long discussed renovations to Dobson Field have finally begun to take shape.

The five phase project which is expected to total more than $1.78 million recently began work on its first phase.

Phase one will be the addition of one baseball and one softball diamond along with a soccer field. Currently the backstops for the two fields are up and the mainlines for the sprinkler systems have been completed.

Exeter Public Works Director Felix Ortiz says that due to parking issues the installation of the sprinkler system and additional fencing will be put on hold until after the Fourth of July celebration at the field.

Ortiz said that the two ball fields and soccer field will be operational by next baseball season.

Phase two, which is scheduled to start construction by next summer consists of a rest room/concession stand and possibly repaving the parking lot.

Funding for both the first and second phases are covered by the acquisition of two grants, the State of California Per Capita Grant of $220,000 and the Roberti Z Berg Grant of $25,000. Additional funding has been acquired by two development agreements.

The third phase will be the addition of another regulation high school baseball field on the northwest side of the facility.

Phase four will be the addition of three more softball fields and playground equipment.

And the final phase will be the construction of an $855,000 steel gymnasium with two full baseball courts. Each of the phases is expected to take at least one year for completion.

Ortiz stressed that community involvement is always welcome. He said the city is currently looking for volunteers to construct the concession stand/bathroom.

Anybody interested in making monetary or service donations should call Felix Ortiz at the Public Works office 592-3318.

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