Efforts Underway to Renovate the Athletic Field at Digital Harbor

| February 26, 2020 | 0 Comments

Federal Hill residents Vincent Andrews and Donna Price and Digital Harbor High School Athletic Director Alan Holmes are teaming up on an effort to renovate the athletic field at Digital Harbor High School. The 41,000 sq. ft. field is adjacent to east of the high school and borders Covington St., Henry St., and E. Gittings St.

Andrews, Price, and Holmes have put together a presentation for the idea, which is officially called the ‘Digital Harbor High School Athletic Field Renovation Project.’ The presentation shows renderings, project details, cost estimates, partners, and how community members can donate and get involved.

The goal of the project is not only to renovate the field, but to “help bring together Baltimore City students, local South Baltimore community residents, and the larger Baltimore community.”

The grass field is currently used for practice as it’s not large enough for high school contests. It has a 60-yard football field with one end zone and sketches show that in a baseball/softball alignment the field has a 186 ft. left field fence and a 213 ft. right field fence. Holmes said while the field is not large enough for any high school contents, it is large enough for youth sports contests.

The field is used for practice for Digital Harbor teams including football, lacrosse, baseball, and soccer. The presentation estimates it is used by about 200 students on a typical school day.

The presentation says entities such as Volo City and US lacrosse have expressed interest in hosting events on the field. It projects the field could have 75,000-plus yearly uses.

The proposed project includes Priority 1, which is replacing the current grass field with a synthetic turf field and repairing surrounding infrastructure including fencing, a backstop with additional netting, poles, and goal posts. Priority 2 is restoring the school and community greenhouse adjacent to the field. Priority 3 would include paving the school’s parking lot, installing a structure to store athletic equipment and act as a “white board” teaching space, and “in partnership with community sponsors” installing lighting for the athletic field.

Priority 1 has a target fundraising total of $1 million. The project team is working with the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation on the design concept, cost estimates, and construction. The estimated cost of Priority 1 is $900,000 with a 15% contingency fee for cost overruns.

The presentation says the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation is ready to continue the design phase and has committed to approaching its institutional partners if the project team raises the first $500,000.

South Baltimore Gateway Partnership (SBGP), which manages Local Impact Grants for South Baltimore generated by Maryland casinos, has committed $3,000 to the design concept. The presentation says that SBGP is considering making a “lead gift” with the goal of beginning construction on this project by this summer.

Additional stakeholders committed to advancing this project are Digital Harbor Principal Talisha Swinton, Senate President Bill Ferguson’s Office, Delegate Brook Lierman’s Office, City Councilman Eric Costello, and Baltimore City Schools.

The project is looking for community members to join the steering committee and is seeking donations.

Renderings from the Digital Harbor High School Athletic Field Renovation Project and Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation

Photo from the Digital Harbor High School Athletic Field Renovation Project

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