Lansing To Add Baseball Dugouts

The game is tied.  The home team coach sends his star player out of the dugout.  Except there is no dugout.  That is about to change, because plans are afoot to build six dugouts on Lansing baseball fields.  At the same time about ten acres of land across the street from the existing ball fields is being leveled and seeded

"We don't know how many fields will fit yet until we clear the area," says Lansing Recreation Supervisor Patrick Tyrrell.  "We're hoping for a least three soccer fields.  That will give us room to put in a tournament baseball field on this (the existing ball fields) side.  The Parks & Rec Dept continues to grow and is in need of more open space as we continue to take our facilities to the next level.   The dugouts is step one in this process."

The plan is to install three sets of dugouts on Fields A, E, and Christopher Field, each a three sided building on a concrete slab.  The home team dugout on Christopher Field will be 8 feet by 32 feet.  The others will be 8 feet by 24 feet, designed to hold about 15 kids.  Tyrrell says the plan is to use the dugouts for baseball and softball, but not for soccer.

Town Supervisor Ed LaVigne says the fields will still be suitable for soccer.

"None of the soccer fields will be sacrificed," he says.  "We're not sacrificing one for the other.  We saw this week how important the soccer program is."

LaVigne says he hopes to pay for the dugouts with donations.  Each is expected to cost between $5,000 and $6,000, not including labor.  LaVigne says there is money in his contingency budget to contribute to the project if donations don't cover all the costs.  But he says he would prefer the Lansing sports community support the project as community members did when money and volunteer labor was being raised for the playground and the historical log cabin in Myers Park.

"I would rather have people contribute to it first," he says.  "I would rather use that contingency  money as a last resort, because there is such a great history of athletics in Lansing.  I want them to be active participants.  I want them to give of their time, their energy, and their money."

LaVigne announced on his Facebook page Wednesday that the Lansing Community Council will be accepting donations to fund the project.

He says the work to level and seed land across the street was budgeted for, and the work was scheduled for the Spring.  But Mother Nature had a different idea, and the unusually rainy summer pushed the schedule back.  He says the plan is still to do the work this summer, and he also hopes to begin work on the dugouts as soon as possible, depending on the level of donations.

"One of the goals is to pour as many slabs this year as possible, then raise more money for the construction of the dugouts next year," he says.