At the Jan. 21 city council meeting, the first planning discussions were revealed for a project to build four grassed baseball, softball and football complexes that would be shared by student-athletes at Dickinson State University. , Dickinson High School and members of the general public. Guy Fridley, athletic director of Dickinson Public Schools; Pete Stanton, head football coach and athletic director of Dickinson State University; and James Kramer, Executive Director of Dickinson Parks and Recreation, presented preliminary plans for the future project.
“We felt that the collaboration between the two (schools) would be important for us to build something… that we could both be proud of,” Fridley said. “And once we got along with (the idea)… we thought it was important that we bring Parks and Rec and James Kramer.”
Fridley added: “No decision has been made on what this will look like.”
According to the proposal, the project would consist of, among other things, baseball, softball and soccer fields. The hope expressed at the committee meeting was that the grounds would help attract an increase in upcoming tournaments to Dickinson – and by proxy, income for the town.
The proposal for the fields remains in the very early stages of planning, with no project start date or costs presented.
The main goal, according to Fridley, was to have the fields located a short distance from Dickinson Public Schools, DSU and the West River Community Center for easier transportation and access to the fields. Although unconfirmed, the preliminary locations selected would meet this goal.
The baseball and softball fields would be located side-by-side at the intersection of State Avenue and Fairway Street, near the university’s new outdoor training rodeo facility. The idea presented for the soccer fields would be to have a grass field and a natural field, in front of the Henry Biesiot activity center.
“We felt (the) location was very good for something like this for the teams,” said Fridley. “I went to the (Little League Mustang baseball fields) at 11 at night because there are three fields (in town.)”
Mayor Scott Decker asked the proposal team about concerns he had about safety and expected costs. Curator Nicole Wolla’s questions focused on the proximity of the fields to the rodeo grounds.
“Have you ever spoken with the rodeo club, because you really haven’t talked about it?” Wolla asked.
Stanton responded that initial discussions with the rodeo club have taken place and additional meetings will be held with the club at the next DSU Open Forum on Jan.31 at 2 p.m. ET.
“We’re going to be very, very careful with that area that they just put in there for their practice arena,” Stanton said.
The proposal team said their next step would be to ensure these plans fit the proposed locations and that a future meeting with the commission would be requested on the matter once a more firm plan is in place. .
While the commission listened carefully to the proposal team’s preliminary plans, no formal proposal was submitted to the commission for consideration.