Tigers Baseball & Softball Teams Find New Homes
The Gilbert Community School District provides its small, but growing, community with top-notch educational facilities. To match this offering, the district has also been steadily upgrading its athletic facilities to provide students with spaces that enable top performance and promote school pride. The athletic facilities professionals with Snyder & Associates have been active with many of these projects, including the recent design and construction of new baseball, softball, and practice fields south of the existing football stadium complex on a vacant site. An all-purpose storage building for holding athletic and maintenance equipment was also included in the design.
All three of the new fields utilize the existing entry plaza located at the southwest corner of the football stadium. The main walkway running north and south between the ballfields doubles as a driveway to access each field and the storage building. The pavement along this route was poured to a depth of 6” to support heavy equipment that may need to access the area. Conveniently, all utilities were routed adjacent to this main walkway to connect to the field areas.
Vacant Location Provides Space for Modern Ballfield Amenities
One of the main advantages of designing a field at a new location was the benefit of working from a blank slate. This afforded the designers the space to add all the amenities that’d you’d expect at modern ballfields.
This state-of-the-art complex has spacious, above-ground dugouts at both the baseball and softball fields. The backstops have a safety netting and padding system while the outfield fences sport much-needed windscreens to minimize the impact of the gusty Iowa winds. An expansive concrete concourse area surrounds the backstop area of both fields to provide better fan access and allows access to the new concession/restroom building. Each field also received a new scoreboard system along with pro-grade lighting systems to illuminate the fields.
Other amenities include a press box at each field with raised bleacher systems, 200-250 seat capacity at the softball field, and 300-350 seat capacity at the baseball field. The baseball field includes a double bullpen for both the home and visitor side, while the softball field includes a double bullpen for the home side and a single for the visitors. Outdoor batting cages were also added to each field on the home team side.
Field Treatments & Stormwater Upgrades Minimize Rain Delay Impacts
Both the softball and baseball fields, along with the practice field, consist of an irrigated, natural athletic turf grass with an underdrain system. The infield construction consists of a specialty ballfield aggregate (Bryan Rock Red Ball Diamond Aggregate) on a sand base. Red Ball Diamond Aggregate is a finely crushed dolomitic limestone that has a natural red color and allows water to pass through it. When applied properly, it will provide years of service with little maintenance required.
With the addition of so much concrete around the fields, our team also prepared enhanced stormwater modeling and design to provide the necessary stormwater infrastructure. Stormwater management encompassing the athletic fields required a combination of a new storm sewer system, field drain systems, and sheet flow and infiltration to drain water away from the fields and toward the existing stormwater detention areas. Both fields drain into a field under-drain system and a series of collector storm sewer lines. The baseball field outlets to the northeast while the softball field outlets to the west. The interior plaza areas required drainage through a series of small intakes and drainpipes that are released into the existing storm management area to the west.
While not immediately constructed, plans also included a new storage building and service pad area located south of the baseball field. Water, electricity, and communication services are planned for this facility through underground channels from the stadium area. This 48’ x 24’ metal building will be designated for athletic storage, irrigation service, and source equipment.
The design and development of the Gilbert High School baseball and softball fields have brought to life a first-class venue for athletes and spectators, alike. As this proud school district continues to grow, there’s little doubt its athletic program offerings are up to the challenge.