Aug. 3—NORTH MANKATO — Work is underway and more will soon begin to upgrade the 35-year-old softball fields at Caswell Sports in upper North Mankato.
Public Works Director Nate Host said the projects are part of a $3.4 million package that grew out of the 2020 bonding bill approved by the Legislature.
The state provided $2 million while the Mankato Area Softball Association contributed $200,000, with the rest coming from the city sales tax fund.
The city held a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday at Caswell Park.
Work is already underway on fields 5 and 6. Fields 1-4 will come out of service on Aug. 21 to allow upgrades to them. All of the work is to be done by the end of the year.
"On all six fields, fencing, dugouts and backstops will be replaced," Host said.
The dugouts will be larger and the fencing will be black vinyl, rather than the current chain-link.
"It's easier to see through them and they last longer," Host said of the vinyl fencing.
The upgrades also include replacing the scoreboards on all of the fields and upgrading lighting on fields 1-4.
Host said the city is also putting in the infrastructure to allow games to be livestreamed, something not available now.
"Our tournaments have teams from all over the country and we'll be able to stream those games now."