Renovations at League Stadium underwayMarch 24, 2020
By COREY STOLZENBACH
HUNTINGBURG — The COVID-19 outbreak has made a worldwide impact. It has forced the cancellation of local and national events, as people are forced to live lives they aren’t used to living.
Meanwhile, it’s business as usual on a Thursday afternoon at League Stadium. The mound and home plate are covered for protection as raindrops fall from a grey sky. It’s not a day for grass cutting or other field upkeep, but workers are still busy as the venue undergoes renovations, such as constructing an upper deck and patio for the Dubois County Bombers, doing concrete work in different places and replacing old, wooden boards in the stands.
Southridge won’t be taking the field any time soon during these renovations following Gov. Eric Holcomb’s March 19 announcement that all schools are to remain closed until May 1.
Larry Altstadt, the Huntingburg parks director, hopes the Raiders get to have a season, but the impact the season being delayed has on the renovations isn’t a negative one. Rain presents more of a challenge to the workers than the novel coronavirus does.
“Actually, it helps us maintenance-wise to get our work finished,” Altstadt said. “We’re actually getting more done than when there are players here.”
However, precautions people are taking during this pandemic still apply here. Employees are using hand sanitizer, spraying down doorknobs and keeping distance from one another. Employees are given schedules to help with the separation.
Altstadt does not think there’s going to be a season for the 2020 Raiders based on things he’s hearing and reading. He hopes for the sake of the seniors and recruiting purposes that the season can happen. The Bombers' season is further out, and Altstadt is hoping all of the current medical concern and precautions can be gone by then. He anticipates it will be mid-April when people find out what will really happen.
He showed The Herald around League Stadium on March 19. There's new sod on the field. Altstadt points to where the upper deck and patio are going to be, which is along the third base/left field line.
Completion is expected May 1, the same day Indiana schools are closed until. The new areas at the historic stadium will be used during the Bombers' season to host parties and corporate outings. Altstadt said the cost will be around $80,000, funded with private money. Seufert Construction is going to putting the pieces together beginning this week, if the weather cooperates.
“I don’t know if we’re going to get any [good weather],” he said while walking around the seats and bleachers.
He shows the new, expanded netting League Stadium is getting from the third base line to the first base line to protect those in the grandstand. Some of it is already installed, while the rest is yet to come. Altstadt notes the new, wooden planks when walking across the stands. They’re installed, but one can tell they’re new as they haven’t been painted green yet.
Altstadt walks to the other side as he claims that every project is a main project. One main project is another area that needs concreting, right by the batting cage along the first base/right field line. The amount of concrete and hours it takes to get it finished are what makes this a big project.
“If it would quit raining, we would have it all finished already,” Altstadt said.
He takes The Herald to a set of steps. An entrance to underneath the stands is boarded up next to the steps, though there’s one part where the boarding hasn’t gone. It’s intended to prevent children, animals and rodents from going into that area as a means of a safety precaution.
“We’ll still have doors where we can maintain if somebody drops something down in there, we can get to it, but most of it’s all going to be blocked off,” he said.
He’s optimistic everything will be finished by May if and when there is a high school season.
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