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Columbus East Athletics

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Possible upgrades for CEHS Softball, Tennis, and Baseball Facilities

Getting An Upgrade / New softball diamond, tennis courts coming to East; fields to be lighted

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Columbus East will be seeing some long-awaited facility upgrades, and the baseball and softball fields at Columbus North and East could be getting lights by 2023.

Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. announced plans on Saturday for nearly $3 million in improvements at several facilities across the district. Most notably, East is set to get a new softball diamond.

"Especially when we’re hoping it can be a turf field, it’s just so much easier from the standpoint of managing games and getting games in," East athletics director Pete Huse said. "It can rain all day long, and we can still play softball that night. Then having the lights, now we have a situation where not only is it raining all day long and maybe there’s a delay because of lightning, we can keep playing, where in our current situation, when it gets dark, we can’t continue to play."

Currently, there are no lights at the East baseball and softball fields at Clifty Park and the North baseball and softball fields at Southside Elementary. The new softball diamond at East will be behind the visiting football bleachers.

"I just think it’s safer for our athletes putting them in a safer, nicer facility," Huse said. "It just shows trying to do what’s right and what’s for our kids and our community. We have some very outstanding athletic programs on both sides of the town, and facilities certainly help showcase it."

BCSC director of operations Brett Boezeman said the district is working with architects now and hopes to have them out for bid by Christmas. If that happens, they hope to start working on the new field in the spring of 2022 and have it ready for the 2023 season.

"It’s really too early to put a timeline on it yet, but that’s our goal," Boezeman said.

Boezeman also said plans are in the works to replace East’s deteriorating tennis courts next summer. That’s good news to Huse.

"The highest priority for Pete Huse is new tennis courts," Huse said. "Then, softball facilities. We need some new buildings and new bleachers at the football field, so they’re all high priorities."

New visitors bleachers and renovation of the restrooms and concession stand area on the visitors side have been proposed at East’s Stafford Field.

"The budget is a little tight, so everything is in theory right now," Boezeman said. "These are all things that we hope to do. There’s $2.9 million available, so we hope to be able to do all that stuff with that amount of money. It will be close, but that’s our goal."

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