Castle Field decommissioned, fund-raising kicked off

With the old Castle Field decommissioned, the property is prepped for construction of the new RiverWay Clinic just off Highway 10.

Great River Energy made quick work of removing the lights from Castle Field, which will find a new home in Athens Township, saving the city of Anoka $8,000 in disposal costs. Photo by Mandy Moran Froemming

Great River Energy made quick work of removing the lights from Castle Field, which will find a new home in Athens Township, saving the city of Anoka $8,000 in disposal costs. Photo by Mandy Moran Froemming

Work dismantling the field began just one day after the final games were played at Castle Field on July 14.

“The field has since been decommissioned and prepared for construction for the new Health Partners clinic,” said Recreation Services Manager Lisa LaCasse.

The lights on the field were taken down on Monday, July 16 and headed for a new home.

With a connection made through the city’s Planning Director Carolyn Braun, they will eventually light up a second ball field being built in Athens Township.

While Athens only paid $1 for the lights, because they were removed at no cost to Anoka, it netted a savings of $8,000 for the city, according to Braun.

The lights won’t be used at the new Castle Field because they are not powerful enough to meet current standards and the cost to move and re-install the lights was $40,000, said Braun. The lights will be adequate for younger ball players, who do not hit the ball as high or as fast.

According to Public Services Director Greg Lee, most of the field’s infrastructure was not salvageable. But some things, including pieces of the irrigation system, will be used for parts when needed in some of the city’s other parks.

Plans are still uncertain for the score board from the ball park, said Lee. The cost of retrofitting the scoreboard for the new Castle Field was nearly the same as replacing it.

For those wanting a bird’s eye view of the construction of the new Castle Field, QCTV has a webcam set up so people can watch the work unfold at the site near Anoka High School.

“We’ve got a webcam so people can monitor construction from home.” said LaCasse.

By visiting the city of Anoka’s website at www.ci.anoka.mn.us and following the Castle Field link, you can see video of the ballpark being built.

 

Fund-raising campaign

At a city council meeting earlier this month, a donation was made by Jim Lundeen on behalf RJM Distributors and Killebrew Root Beer for $8,000 to the Castle Field Association. It is the project’s first corporate donation.

“I’m a big believer in the ball field and the baseball community in Anoka,” said Lundeen.

A capital fund-raising campaign was officially kicked off July 14.

The city is aiming to raise money through the Castle Field Association to help pay for the second phase of the ball park’s construction, including the building that will house concession, storage and rest room facilities.

“It’s people like Jim the community really rallies around,” said Jay Rumpca, president of the Castle Field Association. “It’s great to see him rallying around the fund-raising efforts that a lot of kids benefit (from).”

The cost of this second leg of construction has been estimated at over $400,000.

Seeding of the field is expected to happen late this summer and will be open for limited play next July. The official opening of Castle Field will be in 2014.

Donation opportunities include paver bricks for the plaza, bucket seats which will be located in the center of the stadium as well as a chance to participate in a photo mosaic project.

LaCasse said the city is also working on developing donation opportunities all the way up to $10,000.

To date donations have included two bucket seats and one brick.

For more information on making a donation, visit the Castle Field page on the city’s website.

Mandy Moran Froemming is at editor.anokaunion@ecm-inc.com


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