Field resurfacing project to help prevent rain cancellations
Tonganoxie baseball and softball fields will have a different look next season.
A red-shell surface is being laid on the Tonganoxie Recreation Commission infields. A Leavenworth firm started laying the clay-based substance on Friday.
"We should be all finished by next Friday, weather permitting," said Mark Klasinski of Lawncare Unlimited.
The red-shell infield dries faster than the current dirt and soil mixture. Mark Zerrer, recreation commission director, said, for example, if rain fell at noon, a red-shell infield would be ready by 6 p.m.
"You're seeing more and more fields in the metro area using ag-lime or red-shell," Zerrer said.
Ag-lime usually calls for occasional watering, as it can become hard. Zerrer said the red-shell substance is more player-friendly because it doesn't need watering and is softer. The Basehor Field of Dreams complex has ag-lime infields. Many games were played there last summer when rain forced Tonganoxie to cancel.
In 2000, the recreation commission had three to four rainouts. Last summer, the commission had 11 rainouts.
"That's one of the worst years, if not the worst, in eight years," Zerrer said.
Zerrer said the surface installation would carry a price tag of about $3,000.
Other improvements are expected before the high school softball and baseball seasons start in April. More trees will be planted around TRC 1, and green netting and a yellow protective covering above the chain-link fence also will be added.