GRANGER — The improvements being made to the Woodward-Granger baseball complex is entering the next stage this spring, Hawk skipped Eric Evans said.
“We have been very fortunate to be where we already are when it comes to the total renovations we want to make, but there is still quite a bit to be done,” the sixth-year head coach explained. “The next step is to build a new press box and concession stand, and we want to include new restrooms and to install stadium-style bleachers. The whole thing will be made fully handicap-accessible.”
A DNR grant in 2011 allowed for the planting of 50 trees around the diamond, primarily beyond the outfield fence. An additional 100 trees were planted throughout the Granger community.
“All we have been able to do is from our own fundraising, from matching funds from the school and from a whole lot of grant writing,” Evans said. “We think we have one of the nicer places to play and watch baseball in the area, but we know that once we are done we will have a one of the top-level, premiere facilities of any size of school throughout all of Central Iowa.”
Major League Baseball grants from the Minnesota Twins and Kansas City Royals totaling $30,000 was used for the construction of new dugouts, with an additional fundraising effort bringing in $10k that went toward new outfield fencing and foul poles along with smaller projects.
Nearly $60k from the school and other sources was used for the new backstop and concrete pad behind the plate.
Former W-G head coach Dustin Brisel is now the head coach at Newton. Following the same layout plan W-G is using, Brisel began fundraising recently when a local philanthropist stepped forward and committed to funding the entire project.
“We would love to see that happen here, of course, but you cannot expect it, so we are doing all we can to collect funds from as many sources as possible,” Evans said. “Our main effort this year is being done by our players through on-line efforts.”
A total of 58 players will be attempting to raise $25,000 through their efforts.
“If each of them can raise $500 we will be all set,” Evans said. “It will take some effort, but I am confident they can do it.”
Those wishing to directly donate to the cause may do so by sending a check to the Woodward-Granger High School at 306 W. Third Street, Woodward, Ia. 50276. In the memo write “Hawks Dugout Club” to make the donation tax exempt, as the HDC is a 501c3.