Sydney now able to host championships
Improvements made to field
The Cape Breton Regional Municipality is almost ready to issue the tender for improvements to the Susan McEachern Memorial Ball Park that could enable it to host a national championship.
In the 2015-16 capital budget it passed earlier this year, the CBRM allocated $230,000 for the improvements to the south end Sydney ballfield. The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency has provided a grant of $385,700 to the project. The project has also received $100,000 in funding from the province, through the Active Living branch of the Department of Health and Wellness.
The total cost of the renovation project is expected to be about $750,000.
“Funding has all been confirmed, we’re actually in the final stages of doing the tender specs, we’re probably about two weeks away from going to the paper for public tender,” said Bill Murphy, the CBRM’s manager of parks, grounds and buildings.
Planning for the project has been underway for more than a year. Murphy said it feels good to finally be in the final stages of preparing for the work to proceed.
“A project like this that’s larger, there’s always some challenges and ins and outs of making sure everybody communicates and all the things are lined up properly,” he said.
The work will include the reconstruction of the entire playing surface, both infield and outfield, with a synthetic all-weather surface on the infield and a natural drained outfield. There will also be new fencing, support perimeters, dugouts and VIP seating.
“Obviously the intent is to have the capacity to host national-level baseball championships,” Murphy said.
It’s expected that the work could begin the second week of September. A precise construction schedule is not yet available, so Murphy couldn’t say definitively when it’s expected to wrap up.
“If we run out of time for the outfield portion, then it would be completed in the spring, but we anticipate it will be hopefully about an eight to 10 week construction schedule,” he said. “We’re hoping if the weather cooperates, it will be all done in the fall.”