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Baseball field improvements eyed at Batavia High School

BATAVIA – Improvements to the varsity baseball field at Batavia High School could begin this fall because several groups are committing funds to the project.

Four organizations or businesses – Batavia Youth Baseball, Batavia Bulldog Boosters, Batavia-based Eagle Concrete and the Batavia High School baseball team – are committing funds to the renovation of the field’s backdrops and dugouts, which is estimated to cost $190,000.

“We are excited to do this entirely through private funding,” said Kris Monn, the district’s assistant superintendent for finance. “It is exactly what we hoped would happen. We don’t have all the funds ourselves.”

Monn said the intent is to have the improvements ready for the 2014 baseball season if an agreement can be reached soon. The baseball field improvements are a small piece of a proposed $13.4 million master plan to improve Batavia High School athletic fields.

The master plan was developed after meetings with groups that use the athletic fields, school district administration, maintenance staff and school board members. Some residents have voiced concerns about the project’s costs.

In addition, trees in anarboretum adjacent to the east practice field would be removed to make way for the improvements as part of the overall plan, which has also raised concerns. City arborist Frank Saupp has voiced opposition to the plans.

“It is my opinion that this site represents one of the best presentations of tree types to be found anywhere in the city of Batavia as it currently exists,” Saupp wrote in a letter to the school board.

The baseball field improvements would not affect the trees.

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