Criss makes donation for turf at McDonald Stadium
By Julie Clements
August 30. 2012
El Dorado, KS
Ramon Criss (third from left) presents a check to (l-r) Scott Rickard, assistant city engineer; Brad Meyer, public words director; Herb Llewellyn, city manager; and Butler Community College Head Coach B.J. McVay and Assistant Coaches Ty Reese and Jason Santangelo for turf at McDonald Stadium.
Rain delays and postponements won't be as much of an issue for McDonald Stadium when spring baseball rolls around again.
"The users of McDonald Stadium have been telling me they wanted artificial turf for some time and the motivator is that spring is baseball season and spring is also rain season," said Herb Llewellyn, city manager. "Because we have so many people using that stadium, when you get a rainout it ripples and causes scheduling conflicts with other teams."
Artificial turf would help eliminate those conflicts.
"We've been trying to figure out a way internally to pay for turf," Llewellyn said. "We never could come up with enough revenue to meet those expenses and make it revenue neutral to the city."
Then earlier this year, Llewellyn said they thought about Ramon Criss, who has done a lot for the community.
"I'm not used to fundraising," Llewellyn said, "so it was kind of a new deal, but Ramon has always been so benevolent to the community that I thought I would ask him and see if he had any thoughts about it. He agreed to fill the gap."
The total project will cost about $140,000, with the city doing the dirt work and a contractor laying the turf.
Between the city and the college, they came up with $75,000 and Criss agreed to meet the shortfall of $65,000.
This lets the impact to the city's budget be revenue neutral because they will not have to do as much daily maintenance on the field.
The turf will be put in the infield only. The outfield will continue to be grass.
"We just redid the outfield and regraded it and did drainage work on it last year so the outfield is in good shape," Llewellyn said.
The work will begin on the field in November after Butler Community College finishes its fall baseball. It is planned to be completed by January in time for baseball to start in February.
In the fall, Butler uses the field, then in the spring Butler and El Dorado High School both practice there and hold home games at McDonald Stadium. Following the college, the Broncos start using the facility.
"It's a very, very full calendar," Llewellyn said.
In addition to allowing these teams more access during rainy weather, it also will create the opportunity to bring in more clinics, especially early in the year.