PLAY BALL! Upgrades coming to five Waterloo ball diamonds

By: Kw Now Local News
| Published 11/19/2021

'Our goal is to better meet the needs of the people visiting and using these diamonds.'
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Upgrades coming to five Waterloo ball diamonds

'Our goal is to better meet the needs of the people visiting and using these diamonds.'

We are upgrading five baseball diamonds in Waterloo by 2023, as part of our outdoor sportsfield strategy.

OThe upgrades are part of the ongoing implementation of the Outdoor Sportsfield Strategy. Our goal is to maximize capacity and better meet the needs of the people visiting and using these diamonds. We've met with user groups, and are considering several upgrades for each of the diamonds based on budget availability.

For example, adding lighting to the diamonds will allow us to increase scheduling capacity, and better support groups that play in the evening. The updates to infrastructure will ensure greater user programming for the next 20 years.

Waterloo Park Ball Diamonds 3 and 4

Waterloo Park ball diamonds 3 and 4 will undergo a major upgrade in 2022. Currently the diamonds have overlapping outfields with poor drainage and no lighting.

City staff have met with the main user groups to determine the most important upgrades required. Based on the needs identified by the user groups, city staff are now considering the following upgrades, based on budget availability:

  • Separate the ball diamonds to allow for 230' (230 feet) outfields
  • Re-orient the diamonds to provide back to back outfield separate fences
  • Enclose the entirety of the diamonds with fencing to allow for safe play on both diamonds
  • Install new high efficiency LED lighting to increase scheduling capacity and better support groups that play in the evening
  • Upgrade drainage to mitigate downtime on the fields due to heavy rains and flooding
  • Provide natural low impact development stormwater infiltration areas
  • Install an irrigation system for the grass areas
  • Add new accessible paths to connect the diamonds to the trails within Waterloo Park as well as the parking lot along Seagram Drive.
  • Provide naturalized planting areas throughout the facility

Bechtel Park Ball Diamond

  • The baseball diamond at Bechtel Park will soon undergo a major renovation. The current infrastructure at the diamond is deteriorating and the stadium buildings are currently closed due to unsafe conditions.

    City staff have met with the main user groups to determine the most important upgrades required. Based on the needs identified by the user groups, city staff are now considering the following upgrades, based on budget availability:

  • Renovate the main stadium building to accommodate a variety of user needs, including an accessible washroom
  • Renovate the stadium seating and the press box at the top of the main building
  • Demolish the stadium seating at the top of the two side buildings and install new accessible seating at ground level
  • Remove the two side buildings of the stadium and add new dugouts inside the diamond fencing
  • Replace the existing infield clay and renovate the turf outfield
  • Install new fencing around the diamond along with protective netting
  • Include new bullpens along the first and third base lines to replace current bullpens in the outfield area.
  • Construct 40’ long covered dugouts
  • Include accessible parking spaces and paths at the entrance of the diamond allowing for a stronger connection for all users of the park
  • Install an irrigation system for the entire field
  • Install a new scoreboard

Hillside Park ball diamonds

In 2021, city staff upgraded the two ball diamonds at Hillside Park as follows:

  • Outfield fencing was replaced
  • Backstop fencing was upgraded to a 30’ height and new 10’ spectator screens were provided
  • New safety netting was installed around each diamond to protect patrons and vehicles
  • A new accessible trail was provided between the upper and lower diamond
  • New mesh batting tunnels with artificial turf and a storage building were provided
  • Retaining walls were replaced
  • The parking lot was re-paved and new accessible parking spaces were added
  • Lighting was added to the parking lot