By Phoebe Muthart
SYRACUSE — “If you build it, he will come.” It’s not just actor Kevin Costner’s line in the movie, “Fields of Dreams.”
A new ballfield will eventually be a reality in the Syracuse community. Then the line from the movie, but only in real life, will be “they will come.”
The new Harold Schrock Athletic Complex is in the planning stages. The current ballpark is relocating to another site. The old Schrock complex is approximately 6.96 acres and the new field will be 23 acres.
Polywood is expanding and is building a manufacturing facility on the ball park’s current site on Brooklyn Street.
The start date for the new ball field has not been announced. The park superintendent is unsure of the exact date, but it should begin within the next couple of months.
“We are meeting with the contractors and engineers tomorrow (Wednesday, Aug. 4) to finalize some information,” said Chad Jonsson, superintendent, Syracuse Parks and Recreation. “The project will cost approximately $2.8 million.”
An anonymous donation was received totaling $630,000.
The project will be on the east side of Kern Road, south of the Kerns Crossing housing addition, in Syracuse.
Construction should begin soon and continue throughout the winter, said Jonsson. Construction work should be completed sometime in 2022.
The new ballpark will have fenced ball fields and a separate football field.
Four bids for the project were received. The bids did come in higher than expected but are being offset by the donations, Jonsson said, adding, “With the pledged donations, the project is fully funded.”
Beer and Slabaugh of Nappanee was awarded the bid and is the contractor for the project.
“We understand this project has taken longer than expected, but we are confident that this new facility will be something that not only the Syracuse community but the entire Wawasee community will be proud of,” said Jonsson.