A project announced by the New Haven-Adams Township Parks & Recreation board will consolidate all baseball and softball activities at Havenhurst Park. The board approved the Havenhurst Park Sports Complex Master Plan which combines all nine of the city’s diamonds in one park. The first phase of the project, which is estimated to cost $1.5 million, is expected to get under way this fall.
According to Mike Clendenen, park superintendent, the two diamonds at Moser Park and the two at Sunnymede Park will be relocated. “They will still be parks. Discussions are leaning toward making the Moser Park diamonds into the city’s first dog park since they are already fenced in," Clendenen said.
“The reasoning behind this consolidation is both economic and one of convenience. Having them all in one location will allow families with children participating in both softball and baseball to see games without dashing across town or missing games because they are scheduled at the same time. Travel time between diamonds will lower our maintenance costs, too. In addition, having nine diamonds in one location will provide a great opportunity to host tournaments."
He continued, “Fundraising has already begun for Phase 1 of the project which includes adding the three new diamonds, additional parking and a new, much larger restroom/concession stand. The Parks Department is partnering with New Haven Girls Softball and the New Haven Baseball Association in this fundraising effort. The Baseball Association has gotten the ball rolling with a $10,000 matching donation. We’ll be seeking contributions from residents, businesses and corporations. Sponsorships are available at a number of levels ranging from $50,000 to $500 to name a field, the picnic pavilion, the playground, the scoreboard, a dugout, the batting cages or bleachers. No tax dollars will be used for his project.”
The master plan, which has been under development for the past couple years, includes a new entrance off of Rose Avenue into a 256-space parking lot along the east edge of the park. Two smaller lots for 96 and 43 parking spaces, respectively, will be added at the north edge of the property along Paul Stemmler Parkway. The football field will be made into ball fields and a new football field will be constructed at the New Haven Community Center.
Diamonds will be placed in three radial clusters. The largest one which includes four will be at the east next to the large parking area. A three-diamond grouping will be located where the present football field is and two smaller diamonds will be on the north edge. A paved and landscaped walkway will connect the diamonds and the two concession/restroom buildings. The present playground will be expanded and the present pavilion will remain.
Batting cages will be installed within the existing fence that currently houses the basketball court and the fencing will be repurposed for the cages. The tennis courts will be removed.
In announcing the project to the more than 300 in attendance at the Mayor’s State of the City address March 9, 2nd District Councilman Jeff Turner, who has been involved since the beginning, said “the economic impact on our community will be sizeable. People coming to see their teams in competition will need places to eat and places to stay. This is our own ‘Field of Dreams.’ "