July 6, 2012
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Work has begun on a new playing surface for the Virginia baseball program at Davenport Field. The project includes the installation of a new irrigation and field drainage system as well as a sand-based grass playing field.
The total cost of the project is $1 million and is funded by a combination of donations and athletics department maintenance reserves. Davenport Field previously did not have a drainage system.
"It became obvious during the 2009-10 winter and shortly thereafter that the field drainage was inadequate to deal with inclement weather events," Virginia Executive Associate Athletics Director Jon Oliver said. "The playability of the surface has come into question numerous times over that last couple of years leading to delays or cancellations of games."
"The new playing surface being installed at Davenport Field is one of many great improvements that have been made to our ballpark over the last 10 years," Virginia baseball head coach Brian O'Connor said. "The University of Virginia and our athletics department have continued to show their commitment to having one of the top baseball facilities in the nation. The new sand-based field, drainage system and synthetic warning track will allow our team to play on the field within 30 to 45 minutes after a heavy rainfall. The new field will give our players one of the best playing surfaces in the country."
After removing 14 inches of the existing soil, crews will install a new irrigation and field drainage system. A new sand-based playing surface then will be laid.
The project's plans also call for the installation of a new synthetic warning track that will run in foul territory between the foul poles as well as new dugout flooring surfaces and a new FieldTurf collar behind home plate.
The project is scheduled to be completed by Sept. 5 when the sod is installed.
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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
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