LUMBERTON — A new baseball field at the Dr. Raymond B. Pennington Athletic Complex should be completed by the end of June, according to a contractor with with Apex-based TerraHawke LLC.
“Everything’s going smoothly. It should be done on time,” Kenneth Horne said.
TerraHawke’s bid of $764,365.28 to handle the project was approved in February by the Lumberton City Council. The Lumberton Tourism Development Authority contributed $500,000 to cover part of the cost, and $250,000 from the city recreation capital funds is going toward electric expenses.
The new field will be the sixth of its kind at the park, a milestone that completes the venue requirement for the city to host the Dixie Youth World Series that will run at the facilities from July 27 to Aug. 8.
Lumberton Youth Baseball Association and Robeson County Community College are hosting the event. The tournament will feature approximately 720 players and 60 teams from 11 states in the southeast.
The new field would not need to be utilized until Aug. 4, according to Recreation Committee Chairman and LYBA treasurer Bruce Mullis.
“The only thing that could cause a hiccup (with construction) is rain,” Mullis said.
The new facility will be located just north of the complex’s five other fields, which are clustered together. The construction site is screened off from public access and does not affect any other areas of the park.
Green State Landscaping is in charge of preparing the field at the new facility.
Roger Taylor, one of the company’s owners, said the field’s irrigation system is complete. A sand-clay mix will be deposited in the infield as the project moves forward, and seeding will begin on the field shortly as well.
Taylor said power lines connecting to the new field have been tested, and the city will turn on its electricity supply in the next couple of days.
“It’ll all be coming together really fast,” Taylor said.
Work on the field’s backstop and outfield fences had started as of Friday, with several poles outlining the ballpark’s dimensions. Green State was beginning to install fabric on the walls.
Taylor said the field’s grass will need two to three weeks to settle once it is installed, and that shouldn’t be an issue before the tournament starts.
The construction of a press box, grandstands and other operational features will be handled in cooperation with the city.
Although the new field is required to host the world series, Mullis previously said that it is a small part of bigger plans for developing the athletic complex. A new softball field is one future project being considered by city officials.
Reach Brandon Tester at 910-816-1989 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @BrandonTester.