Nevada fields get makeover with help of Iowa Cubs Turf Management crew
By Ian Murphy, Ames Tribune
The Nevada softball field got a new infield, and the Cubs soon will have a new baseball field.
Both projects are being worked on by Iowa Cubs Sports Turf Management, the turf management team of the Iowa Cubs, the Triple-A affiliate of Major League Baseball’s Chicago Cubs, based in Des Moines.
Iowa Cubs Sports Turf was formed in 2006 by the ownership group of the Iowa Cubs and was contracted to provide maintenance services to municipal athletic facilities in Des Moines.
The company has since branched out and now does field construction and maintenance services across Iowa.
Nevada redid the infield of its softball field with the help of the other Cubs team, and the Iowa Cubs team is also helping construct a new baseball field for the Cubs, which will open in the summer of 2019.
“They came in first, had their equipment up here, and redid the softball infield,” Nevada athletic director Dustin Smith said.
The Cubs also added a purple skirt to the outfield fence and are adding new bleachers, batting cages and bullpens.
“We’ve touched just about everything on the softball field, except for the backstop fence and the dugouts,” Smith said.
The baseball field, meanwhile, is a new facility at S.C.O.R.E park, south of the high school.
Nevada’s current baseball field, Billy Sunday Field, sits in a floodplain in Nevada.
The school board took two bid packages on the field, Smith said, one to install a playing surface and have it be ready for next season, and one to construct the rest of the field, including lights and bleachers.
“I know they’re great, they’ve gone over and above,” Nevada director of facilities and grounds Dave Kroese said. “Done everything we’ve asked and more, not only do they have their best interest in mind but ours as well. They have a lot of insights and they were the most economical as well. It was a win win.”
“The Iowa Cubs Sports Turf Management team dug out eight inches of dirt and installed drain tile on the softball field, then filled that in with sand and put on the infield on top.
The baseball field is a full scale project.
“Each project is different,” said Casey Scheidel, president of Iowa Cubs Sports Turf Management, “so in the case of Nevada baseball field, that’s a larger project, so we will be there for the better part of one to two months by the time we are done with everything and weather delays, but the Nevada softball field, that was about a week project.”
Scheidel said the team will take on 10 large-scale projects a year, but smaller projects can take as little time as a day, and said the crew will take on sometimes 100 projects a year.
The Iowa Cubs took sod off the Northwest corner of the S.C.O.R.E. Complex in March, took topsoil out and graded the field, then put topsoil back on.
The infield playing surface is going in now, and Scheidel said it’s imperative the field gets seeded this spring in order to have a full year to grow in before being played on.
The work on the softball field was around $50,000, Scheidel said. The baseball field may cost from $150,000 to $200,000 before calculating for the dugouts, press box and other facilities.
Iowa Cubs Sports Turf Management was the only bidder from three potential bidders sought, according to Nevada School Board minutes from Feb. 26.
The board accepted a bid of $106,865 for the field base and $37,000 for the irrigation system alternate, per the minutes.
Smith said the district and community’s commitment to facilities is exceptional.
“I think there’s a great commitment to athletic facilities,” Smith said. “But I’d even take it a step further and say there’s a great commitment to facilities in general.”
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