After the June windstorm left downed trees, debris and mild devastation across Wapakoneta and the rest of Ohio, one athletic facility will be receiving an upgrade for the upcoming season.
The baseball field at Wapakoneta High School is to receive renovations and repairs after damage from the windstorm left the dugouts unusable.
“The tops of the dugouts were blown over,” said Brad Rex, athletic director of Wapakoneta High School. “The insurance company deemed them totaled.”
After the storm Mike Watt, Wapakoneta City Schools director of operations, told the Wapakoneta Daily News that photos and documents of the damage were taken right away and sent to the insurance company. Rex said there are preliminary plans to change the dugouts entirely.
“An in-ground dugout has been discussed,” Rex said. “One of the reasons we discussed moving the dugouts in the ground was to improve the viewing area.”
Currently, many fans and spectators can have a difficult time seeing the entire field because of the viewing obstruction of the dugout, which have been above-ground dugouts. This renovation would sink them into the ground.
“There has been talk about improving our home seating with wrap around seating,” Rex said.
He said improvements and additions could also be made to the press box area.
“We would also like to add a little bit of storage,” Rex said.
During the windstorm, the batting cage at the baseball diamond blew over to the kindergarten playground.
Rex said the school invested $3,000 in putting new dirt on the diamond, and the school expects that to be replaced as well.
Rex said all of these renovations and changes would be nice, but he said ultimately, it will come down to how much it will cost.
“It’s going to come down to the money and the Athletic Booster Club,” Rex said. “They will be participating with funds.”
Rex said he could not give exact figures on what the total renovation cost might be because they are still being quoted for each individual element.
“We should be getting quotes any day now,” Rex said. “Because the baseball team doesn’t need the field until March, it’s not (our first priority) but it’s on our radar.”