Construction work kicked off last month at Joshua High School’s baseball and softball fields as the district begins one of its first large-scale projects under its new bond package.

Many upgrades are scheduled at the school’s aging facility, Assistant Superintendent of Operations John Grigsby said.

“There’s going to be a lot,” he said. “We’re putting in new stands, starting to build new press boxes, installing new bleachers, lots of stuff.”

The district plans to replace the backstop’s chain-link fencing with netting and upgrade the fields’ dugouts, Grigsby said.

“We’ll probably be doing new scoreboards a little later on,” he said.

But the work extends farther than the field and its immediate surroundings, Grigsby said.

“The concession stands have been removed, and we’re going to be putting in a whole new entryway,” he said. “It’s going to look completely different.”

The district also plans on installing new batting cages and a practice infield.

The district budgeted $350,000 for the upgrades to the baseball and softball facilities from the $44.87 million bond package voters passed in May by a vote of 622-620. Among the items planned in the bond package are a new middle school for $16,825,000 and the conversion of Loflin Middle School into a ninth-grade facility. Also included in the package are projects at the high school, including the relocation of the high school football stadium, totaling $16.61 million.

The district began work early on the baseball and softball fields to take advantage of the sports offseason.

“There’s nobody on the field, so the work doesn’t affect the teams,” Grigsby said.

Though the baseball and softball upgrades are some of the earliest projects to begin, the district isn’t sure when everything will be completed, Grigsby said. Some of the equipment, like the new bleachers, haven’t come in yet, so there’s no telling when all of the work will be done, he said.

“We just want them ready for the start of the baseball and softball season,” he said. “It’s going to be real nice when it’s finished.”

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