Field available for Coupeville baseball game

After months of searching, the Coupeville High School baseball team will soon have a place to play its games.

Workers recently installed infield turf and seeded the outfield for a temporary baseball field located near the intersection of Highway 20 and Ebey Road just outside the Coupeville town limits. The new field should be ready for the 2006 baseball season.

The original baseball field, located next to the current Coupeville High School was removed to make way for a new high school. Construction of the new high school is expected to begin next year.

Coupeville School District Superintendent Bill Myhr said the district is trying to amend a temporary use permit with the county that would allow both baseball practices and games to be held on the field for a year, with an option to renew.

Myhr said questions from the Ebey’s Landing Trust Board have to be answered before the county will decide on expanding the permit.

Ebey’s Reserve Manager Rob Harbour said the Trust Board was concerned about the highly visible land located on Ebey’s Prairie. He said the Board needs to see a master plan before any decision expanding the scope of the permit is made.

Harbour said the Board recently examined a draft of the school district’s plans and Reserve officials are pleased with the district’s plans.

“We saw a draft and we were very pleased with what we saw,” Harbour said.

Gary Goltz, construction manager for the Coupeville School District, said he hopes the amended permit will be approved.

A draft of the district’s master plan should be presented during the school board meeting later this month. That plan includes the installation of soccer and baseball fields and tennis courts to replace the ones near the high school.

Harbour said there may be issues surrounding the fencing and lighting of the tennis courts, but is confident those concerns can be addressed.

Before school officials can move forward with making the temporary fields permanent, they want to wait to see the bid for the new high school. The bid should be known this February.

School officials planned to have athletic fields located on the field next to the intersection of Ebey and Terry roads. After cost estimates for the new high school escalated, however, officials delayed several lower-priority projects until more money is available.

One unanswered question about the field is how employees will water it during the hot late-summer months. The school district was harshly criticized last year by the Coupeville Town Council for using town water on the fields located outside town limits without their approval. The council eventually allowed the school district to use town water for watering the field. That permit, however, expired at the end of October.

Goltz said the school district is planning to ask the council to use the town water again next summer.

The school district is also looking to install a well to service the new field. Goltz said he didn’t know when the district will install a well because it can take a long time to go through the permitting process.

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