Although there is no word yet on whether there will be a softball season this year, work is already moving forward with the development of the new field at the Pine Point Ball Park.
“Things are going well so far,” said Glenn Smith, president of the Pine Point Ballpark Expansion Association. “Getting the grass down last fall was a big milestone for us. Now we’re seeing all our supplies coming in and it’s great.”
Smith said the plan is for the the new diamond to be ready by the end of July, but a lot will depend on how the sod takes in the outfield. He also said the fire department had been out lending a hand and watering the area.
The next steps will be the design and development of the infield and the installation of fencing around the whole thing. Smith said a consultant will be travelling from Alberta to help with the design of the former.
“We could probably do it ourselves if we had to, talk to people and find out what would work,” he said. “But this is a legacy project. We’ve been saying this is going to be the best ballpark in the North, so we want to get it done right to make sure the field maintains its integrity throughout the year.”
But it remains to be seen whether there will be ball played this summer in the first place. Mixed Slo-pitch league representative Rachel Daigneault-Durocher said she would have an update as to how the league would be proceeding after press time, but Smith said he was confident something could be worked out with the union.
“The strike situation won’t impact our construction at all,” he said, explaining that although the park will be turned over to the municipality upon completion to become a town asset under their management, its construction is largely done by volunteers.
“It’s a capital development,” he said. “We’ll be handing it over to the town for maintenance.”
As for the ball season and how it will play out, Smith said if the strike continues and the league decides to move forward as well, it will be up to players whether or not they want to participate.