at a fever pitch

The final work has begun in the last stage of the field enhancement project at Wildcat/Middle fields. Drive past the work area on Cedar Boulevard, and you’re likely to see the final fine gravel course being installed, with the synthetic turf layer expected some time next week, says Recreation Director David Donnellan. After inspection of the turf materials is completed, the carpet will be delivered to the parking lot near Dixon Field, so watch for announcements on a change in traffic patterns for a few days until those materials can be moved onto the fields.

The entire project is scheduled to be ready in time for a July 4 baseball tournament, weather permitting.

The installation of an artificial playing surface, which started this fall, will help the sports teams play in weather deemed unsuitable when the fields were grass. Our often rainy weather turned the fields into mud, made for hazardous conditions for players and did no favors for the surface, which was continually ripped up due to overuse and lack of recovery time after games. It will be used for multiple youth sports, including baseball, softball, lacrosse and soccer, with additional opportunities for adults to play.

After the gravel course is finished, look for the synthetic turf carpet to be installed, probably sometime next week. The project is scheduled to be complete for a July 4 baseball tournament.

The improvements cost $1.1 million, with $263,929 of that raised by local sports groups and the balance paid with public funds. Work stopped over the winter and the rainiest part of the spring to allow contractors at Vasco Sports Contractors of Ohio to ensure the installation would be done properly. In the meantime, baseball games have been played at other fields in Mt. Lebanon. The high school team used the field at Mellon for the season. Recreational soccer took place at Bird Park as is normal in the spring.

When completed, Wildcat/Middle fields will feature

•  111,200 square feet of artificial turf
• Custom color markings to delineate field size for each sport
• Water fountains
• Improvements to fences and backstops

Additional lighting is not part of the project.

For complete documentation on the evolution of the project, go to:

Read our coverage of the field project.
Watch the video presentation from last summer: