Linn Mar Baseball/Softball Complex
With the population in Marion, Iowa, on the rise, the Linn-Mar Community School District wasn’t just experiencing overcrowding in its classrooms – the congestion extended to the district’s sports facilities as well.
At Linn-Mar High School, there wasn’t enough room for the varsity softball and baseball teams to practice. Sharing practice space wasn’t an option, either, because the two fields were too far apart. The City of Marion’s proposed Tower Terrace Road extension project was also set to impact the district’s existing varsity softball field; the field needed to be relocated to a new site within the next decade.
Given these two challenges, the Linn-Mar Community School District had to choose between keeping the varsity softball field on campus or moving it to a new location that would allow for an expansion of two competition fields (softball and baseball), as well as two practice fields.
Before design began, Shive-Hattery worked with a users’ group to identify the options available to the Linn-Mar Community School District in terms of relocating the existing varsity softball field. It was determined that moving the field to another location was the best long-term plan to accommodate continued growth in the district. This plan also gave Linn-Mar the chance to create a sports-complex atmosphere instead of having fields spread all over campus.
The new sports complex was designed and constructed a few miles from Linn-Mar High School, adjacent to the district’s junior high school. Adding to the sports complex feel are several nearby city and Little League fields.
Shive-Hattery provided design services for the project, including baseball and softball competition fields with increased seating capacity and an integrated press box, baseball and softball practice fields, and three multi-purpose fields. The new fields reduce drainage issues that plagued the previous fields, reducing the possibility of standing water or puddles.
Concessions, concrete masonry dugouts, batting cages, locker rooms, restrooms, team clubhouses, and sound systems were also designed by Shive-Hattery. New full-field lighting improves the players’ and coaches’ ability to see the ball at night. A new storage facility and green space offers ample room for elementary and junior high sports programs in addition to the high school teams to maximize use of the facility.
The new varsity baseball and softball complex helps relieve the overcrowded, congested feel on the Linn-Mar Community School District campus. In its new location, the sports complex offers easy access for elementary, junior high, and high school usage.
Relocating the baseball and softball fields has provided the Linn-Mar Community School District with a destination sports complex. This move also provided space for the district’s new aquatic facility, which is now situated where the previous baseball field stood.