$3.7 million bid accepted for new softball diamonds

ABERDEEN, S.D. (By Elisa Sand esand@aberdeennews.com) – Aberdeen’s new softball diamonds will start taking shape this summer.

B&B Contracting was selected to complete the construction of four new softball diamonds on the old Swisher complex. A negotiated bid of $3,758,076 was approved for the work at a recent Park and Recreation Board meeting.

Parks, Recreation and Forestry Director Mark Hoven said B&B initially submitted a low bid of just under $4.26 million. Then, additional work was approved, followed by $621,000 in change orders that moved down the final cost. In some cases, a different material will be used, like wood for dugouts instead of metal, he said. Other items will be bid separately, like bleachers and garbage cans.

“There’s still a couple hundred thousand in our budget for bleachers and cans and things,” he said.

Hoven expects construction will begin in June. The fields will be established next year, but grass will be growing, with games expected to begin in 2022.

Scoreboards were also removed from the bid, he said. Sponsors will be solicited for those.

Hoven said he expects the contractor will break ground in a couple weeks. Work will include the construction of four new 300-foot softball fields with amenities like a restroom.

The old Swisher complex is southwest of Players Complex on the northeast edge of Aberdeen. Hoven said the old track and football field area will be removed.

This is the first of what could be three phases of improvements to the city softball fields. Others are planned at the Players and Moccasin Creek complexes. At Players, Hoven said, the goal will be to remove the existing four diamonds and replace them with three larger diamonds.

Phase three would involve shortening the existing fields at Moccasin Creek complex so it can be used for youth games.

Each phase of work is contingent on available funding. Funding for the first phase is now available because the bonds for the Aberdeen Recreation and Cultural Center are now paid off. The next bonds that will be be paid off are for the Aberdeen Aquatic Center. That happens in 2025.

Discussion about field improvements started in 2010, with a master plan developed in 2012.

“It will be good for everyone,” Hoven said. “We haven’t had a state tournament in six or seven years.”

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