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North Suburban News

Reading Little League Looks to Renovate Fields

Apr 30, 2019 10:34PM ● By Lisa Redmond

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READING – During his pitch to the Select Board recently, Reading Little League Commissioner Michael Wondolowski said the league is investing $40,000 to make significant upgrades to Majors Field, but it is the “gift’’ of portable bathrooms and privacy fencing at each field used by the RLL that generated the most discussion.

“It’s really a great gift,’’ Select Board member Robert Halsey said at the April 16 meeting. “The porta potties are a great idea especially since people have been running into the woods and next to someone’s garage for years,’’ he said.

There are more than 454 Reading children signed up to play Little League this season, Wondolowski said.

The RLL plans to use its own money to upgrade the town-owned Majors Field to be able to use it throughout the season.  Due to surface issues, after a rain storm the field is unusable, he said. Due to its condition, Majors Field has the most cancelled games and practices after a storm.

The RLL plans to hire Sports Turf Specialties Inc. to rebuild the infield of Majors Field with higher quality foundation materials and renovate the 46-foot/60-foot field to also accommodate 50-feet/70-foot games.

There would be no change to the perimeter of the field, but the interior would be expanded and the pitcher’s mound rebuilt .

But because Majors Field is not currently up to league requirements, RLL must rent field space at Pine Banks Park in Malden at an annual cost of $3,076, Wondolowski said. He explained that some surrounding towns that have 50-foot/70-foot fields include: Andover, Arlington, Bedford, Belmont, Billerica, Brookline and Chelmsford.

Field improvements aside, based on a 2018 survey completed by 146 parents, the most common issues for RLL parents is the poor condition of the fields and the lack of bathrooms.

One parent wrote, “Bathrooms! Come on, people! We need to pee..and not in the woods or against the building.’’

The plan calls for temporary portable bathrooms, surrounded on three sides by privacy fencing so neighbors won’t object, at fields used by the RLL. The portable bathrooms would be in place from spring until early fall – the Little League season – and then removed until the next season.

The Reading Little League plans to raise the $35,000 to $40,000 needed for the field improvements by applying for Little League grants, donations and sponsorships by area businesses and public wiffle ball tournament from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday June 9 at Memorial Park in Reading. 

For  more information go to Reading Little League.

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