The ‘Green Monster’ outfield fence at Serauxmen Stadium had to come down, but its spirit will be preserved at the baseball field.
The City of Nanaimo announced details this week of a $1.2-million project to rebuild the fencing at the Third Street stadium, which will be home to the West Coast League’s Nanaimo NightOwls starting in 2022.
Due to safety concerns, the 24-foot-tall wooden ‘Green Monster’ fence in right field had to be demolished last summer. It will be replaced with a chain-link fence “with a combination of padding and windscreen,” noted a city press release, and will be rebuilt just as tall as before.
The eight-foot fencing around the rest of the outfield will be replaced, with one section in centre field getting a 16-foot fence “known as a batter’s eye fence to give batters a visual backdrop,” the city said.
Sections of the foul line fences in both right and left field will be lowered to four feet to allow for additional spectator viewing.
The project was budgeted for 2020-21 at $610,000, noted a staff report, but the low bid received this past March came in at $838,000.
“Staff reviewed the bids along with the design team and determined that the pricing was fair, based on the current market and pandemic impacts on pricing and operational protocols, and made the recommendation to accept and award to the lowest bidder as soon as possible to allow for seasonal play to occur when health restrictions ease,” the report noted.
Last month, Nanaimo city council approved additional funding for the project from reserves as recommended by the finance and audit committee, including $175,000 for project contingencies and possible soil removal and disposal, and $153,000 for the foul-line fencing.
The city press release noted that the project’s overall budget is partially funded through the community works gas tax fund, and the Serauxmen Stadium Amateur Baseball Association contributed $150,000.
Lorne Goodall, president of that association, said in the press release that the improvements will make the venue safer and more spectator friendly and said Serauxmen Stadium is becoming a “first-class facility.”