September 27, 2023

Construction of Newton baseball stadium could be completed by late June

Superintendent shares project timeline, which appears on track to meet deadline

Edge Commercial contractors work on the home team dugout and backstop of the new Newton baseball stadium on May 10. School officials are hopeful the stadium can be finished before July.

Editor’s note: Newton Daily News spoke with the superintendent of the project and found out after deadline that the rainy weather likely delayed construction by approximately two days. This ensuing story reflects the article published in the May 12 issue of the Newton Daily News.

Newton Superintendent Tom Messinger shared the construction timeline of the new baseball field during the May 8 school board meeting. While an early finish is not certain, the superintendent said it is possible the new stadium would be finished in time for the baseball team to play on it before end of season.

“Probably not real likely,” Messinger said. “The baseball team would be able to practice on it prior to tournaments possibly. It’s just going to depend.”

Administrators of the Newton Community School District have meetings every few weeks about the construction of the new baseball field. Messinger said the project is coming along, with some parts being one or two days ahead of schedule, while others have been delayed due to weather.

“But it is still on track,” Messinger said while showing off the timeline to board members. “You can see from this July 1 is what we originally thought was going to be the approximate date. According to the schedule, with the work that has been done so far that is still something that (can be accomplished).”

School district documents show the approximate finish date would be June 27.

Messinger encouraged school board members to check out the progress of the construction, which is located across the street from the softball complex near H.A. Lynn Stadium. The superintendent also commended Edge Commercial for keeping the site clean so as not to be a nuisance.

Edge Commercial contractors work on the home team dugout of the new Newton baseball stadium on May 10. School officials are hopeful the stadium can be finished before July.

“We’re expecting any day to hear the trail around the outside of it that’s been barricaded off for construction will be opened back up, and the city has been cooperative with that as well,” Messinger said. “That would be one of the other things that should be coming up soon.”

Other construction items have yet to be included in the project. The school board this past week set public hearing dates for baseball stadium bleachers and a press box. The public hearing was set for 6:30 p.m. May 22. The district made known in its notice it is accepting sealed bids for the bleachers and press box.

The school district will pay for the bleachers and press box with PPEL funds; the project was included on the district’s capital improvement plan.

The new baseball stadium was estimated to cost about $3 million, which is paid for using PPEL and SAVE funds. Edge Commercial is the contractor constructing the new field. The project is a result of months of deliberation with school officials after the previous field in Woodland Park was damaged by a tornado.

In April, the school district formally acknowledged the city has full responsibility of Eversman Field in Woodland Park and will not be playing home games on the field any longer.

Christopher Braunschweig

Christopher Braunschweig

Christopher Braunschweig has a strong passion for community journalism and covers city council, school board, politics and general news in Newton, Iowa and Jasper County.