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Community baseball complex advances

| Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, 8:31 p.m.

Murrysville's attorney will draft an agreement between the municipality and the Franklin Regional Athletic Association, the first step in making a community baseball complex.

The agreement will convert Field Four at Murrysville Community Park into three baseball/softball fields and will transfer Little Haymaker Field to the municipality.

The projects will cost $200,000.

Council this week authorized solicitor George Kotjarapoglus to prepare an ordinance authorizing the agreement between the municipality, the athletic association and Communities Inc.

The plans for Field Four would centralize baseball and softball fields for children younger than 12. It now serves men's softball teams, but Murrysville officials believe it is underutilized.

The centralized facility will reduce field maintenance hours and travel time to outlying facilities, according to a memo from the municipality. It will make game days easier for families who have children playing at different fields throughout the community.

The new facility will allow the athletic association to host tournaments and fundraisers, and to build a concession stand, officials said.

Rolf Patberg, the athletic association's vice president for softball, praised the time officials have invested in the project.

“I assure you we will hold up our end of the bargain,” he said. “I think you're going to find that this is going to be a great attribute to the community as a whole.”

The athletic association is charged with raising money to build the concession stand.

The association will be allowed to sell naming rights of the three fields. Money raised through naming rights will be used for capital development and enhancement of the complex.

The association and Murrysville officials will work together to develop scoreboards and advertising signs.

Little Haymaker Field, near Murrysville Community Center on Carson Street, will be converted into parking for the community center.

Rossilynne Skena is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6646 or rskena@tribweb.com.

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