Phase one of construction on Anoka’s new Castle Field is nearly complete.
According to Lisa LaCasse, Anoka’s recreation services supervisor, work on the field has gone well and it will be ready for some play next year.
“We are really close to completion,” said LaCasse. “We’re just putting the finishing touches on the dugouts and the bleachers.”
While staff are happy with how well the field’s grass has been established, how it looks in the spring will determine if the Anoka High School baseball team will be able to play any games at the new Castle Field on Seventh Avenue near the Anoka High School. The varsity season starts in April.
According to LaCasse the Anoka Bucs and Legion teams could possibly each play one or two games there in 2013, but full opening of the field won’t be until 2014.
The final game at the old Castle Field just off Highway 10 at Green Haven Road was played in July. The city sold the property to HealthPartners, which is currently constructing a new RiverWay Clinic on the old Castle Field site.
The city also got some good news from the Minnesota Twins Community Fund, receiving a $5,000 Twins Fields for Kids grant that will go toward the cost of the batting cages and furnishing the dugouts.
The first phase of the project cost nearly $1.7 million. Funding for the project will include $1.105 million from the sale of the old Castle Field site, as well as a $300,000 transfer from the city’s electric utility fund and $326,000 from the park capital fund.
The city is currently heading up a capital campaign to raise the remaining $500,000 needed to complete the project with addition of rest rooms and concession buildings, plaza area, entrance gate and a memorial garden. To date close to $40,000 has been raised.
Although the field will be playable next year without this add-on, LaCasse said the city is hopeful it can get the funds in place to start construction on it in 2013.
Donation options range from $25 for a piece of a picture mosaic, $100 for a paver brick or $500 bucket seats to varying levels of corporate sponsorship.
In the coming weeks LaCasse said city representatives will be contacting local businesses to discuss support for the Castle Field campaign. Soon there will also be an option for people to donate to the fund-raising drive online, she said. For more on donating visit www.ci.anoka.mn.us.
Mandy Moran Froemming is at [email protected]