BISD approves improvements to BHS ballfields

The community talked and hit a grand slam, while the Bainbridge Island School District listened — earning the win and the save.

The district is hiring professional field builders to renovate the high school baseball and softball fields. Renovations will start Sept. 19.

Baseball Boosters met with district administrators and agreed on the improvements.

“Work is scheduled to begin on the baseball fields as early as next week, and we are currently scheduling contractors for the fastpitch (softball) field, and look forward to beginning the work as soon as possible,” district superintendent Peter Bang-Knudsen says in an email to the Review.

Renovations will include scraping, fraize tilling, leveling and installment of a new irrigation system on the baseball field. The field will then receive all new dirt, base paths, pitching mound, sod and a crushed rock warning track.

Bids are being accepted for new batting cages, which will be built before the prep season begins next spring. The district is hiring another groundskeeper to make sure the fields receive year-round care.

“This is a huge win and will go a long way toward keeping the fields playable,” Monica Knight says in an email to the Review. “Parents will no longer need to mow the fields or do maintenance/upkeep before or after games except for under special circumstances.”

Knight has played a major role the past few weeks in informing the district and the public about shortcomings and even alleged Title IX violations concerning the two spring sports.

Her email adds that there will be more needs — such as overhauling the bullpens — but she’s confident that Boosters working with the district will get those things done.

Both Bang-Knudsen’s and Knight’s emails say they appreciate the community’s involvement.

“BISD appreciates the advocacy and collaboration of the athletes and their families to support these field improvement efforts, and we look forward to a terrific spring season,” the superintendent’s email says.

Knight says all of the community support was essential in accomplishing their goal, which was to make the fields safe after years of neglect.

“The district has been completely overwhelmed by emails and phone calls pleading for change. Those communications made all the difference,” her email says.

A large new athletic facility is in the works for the long term, within five years, her email continues. It would include turf, bathrooms, concessions and lights. Bonds or levies would need to be approved by voters to make that happen.

The school board has confirmed a bid with Northwest Turf Solutions for almost $96,600. It also solicited a bid from NTS for softball field repairs for almost $71,100.

Bad hops in the infield should decrease after improvements to the field.

Bad hops in the infield should decrease after improvements to the field.