Bath School Board Debates New Softball Field For Bath County HS

Warm Springs, Va – Will Bath County High School have a new softball field next spring? That’s what the Athletic Booster Club is hoping for. At a called meeting of the Bath School Board on Tuesday, the Booster Club proposed moving the softball field and solving another problem at the same time– the water runoff from the high school retention pond that is damaging Faith Covenant Family Church property next door.

Putting a new softball field in a new location near the turn at the south end of the high school was placed on the capital improvement plan by the school board two years ago. The water runoff issue first came before the school board almost a year ago.

The Athletic Boosters cite a safety issue when baseball and softball games are going on at the same time, since the two fields are so close. To solve the water runoff issue, they are proposing to put a pipe out of the school’s retention pond, run it through the new field and onto the church’s property. The Athletic Boosters need approval from the school board on this project before requesting the money for it from the Board of Supervisors.

Buggs Phillips with the Athletic Booster club feels they have the support of the supervisors for the project. Moving the field and installing the pipe will cost about $50,000.

School Board member Barbara Waldeck expressed concern about landowners south of the high school, who might experience problems from the new drainage plan. Phillips says they have spoken with several of those landowners, who support the plans for the new drainage system.

School Board member Eddie Ryder is in agreement on the softball field relocation but has problems with the drainage plans. He says the pond at the school is in compliance and if changes are made to divert water, the school system is taking liability. He says the pond was researched and surveyed in 2007, but Jeff Strasser a member of Faith Covenant read from an engineer’s 2007 report that said the pond did not meet requirements.

Attorney Chris Singleton said the liability issue downstream is a concern for the school system. He said the school board needs waivers from the downstream landowners concerning the new drainage. Those documents would be easements that would become part of those properties.

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Heather Niday

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