Freeport Area School District opts against using borough field for high school baseball games
Freeport Area School District will not use Swartz Field for athletic events for an additional two years, which does not sit well with Freeport’s mayor.
A two-year addendum to a lease agreement between the Freeport Baseball Association and the school district has been approved by the school board.
The agreement will allow the district’s athletic programs to continue using the field at Freeport Community Park through 2020 and 2021 at a cost of $7,775 per year.
Mayor Jim Swartz questioned why the district would not use the borough’s field, where high school football games used to be played.
He said the borough would be willing to let the district use it at a cost of about $2,500 per year.
He claimed nobody consulted borough officials about its availability.
Superintendent Ian Magness said the field at Community Park is very well maintained and provides good drainage.
As a result, he said, over the past three years, the high school baseball team was able to use that field and complete more games, even on days when it rained, than it could have when it used the borough’s field.
“Field conditions at Community Park are far more superior than the field in town,” Magness said.
In addition, he said the proximity of the field used by the softball team to the Community Park baseball field provides another advantage.
“We have leveraged that because our home field for softball is right over the hill,” Magness said.
Magness said that allows the district to use one athletic trainer to cover softball and baseball games simultaneously.
He said that saves the cost of an additional trainer that would be needed if the baseball team played at the borough’s field.
Swartz was not convinced by the district’s stance, claiming “it will cost the taxpayers about $10,000 more,” to use the association’s field.