McPherson City Commissioners had their first look a designs for a proposed baseball/softball complex for McPherson College during a study session Monday morning.
Rich Hayden, representing Prairie Landworks, who is doing the design work for the college, said they had to learn quite a bit about designing ball fields before they could proceed with preliminary plans for the site, which would be to the west of the dog park near Centennial Drive to the south of the city. Designers had to configure the field so the third base line faced north and that the grading was such that the pitcher's mound was high and everything grades from the outfield there.
“The way the fields needed to be laid out is the exact opposite of what natural ground does in that area,” Hayden said. “The ground slopes from Centennial down to the creek.”
The design presented for discussion includes a baseball field and a softball field, with related stands and press boxes. The plans also call for a parking lot, changing, concession and restroom facilities, and an indoor practice facility. That last item is one that Hayden admitted is the long-range dream of the college and not an immediate build.
“Their first intent is to build the baseball field,” Hayden said. “Initially, that's all they're going to build is the baseball field and maybe admissions and concession. They'd obviously do all the side grading at one time, but wouldn't necessarily build everything.”
The design also calls for a pond behind the complex to handle the drainage from both the ball fields and the dog park, which would share the eventual parking lot.
No formal action was taken, but the commission gave their consent to the preliminary plans to allow the college to begin moving forward on fund raising.