The track field is finally expected to open to Blair sports this fall. Previously, the baseball and softball fields were renovated, although Blair opened in its present location in 1999.
The field inside the track was deemed unsuitable for use after it was first constructed in 1998. Litigation between MCPS and the contractor began that year. This past summer, MCPS came to an agreement with the contractor and reconstruction began. "Park and Planning funded an irrigation system for the field, and I think it will be permitting and maintaining the field probably beginning in the spring of 05," said Brent Conner, Ballfield Coordinator for MNCPPC.
Blair administration started making preparation for the new field since the renovations began. There are now plans on how the new field will be managed. "Once the track field becomes available we will try to keep as much traffic off of it as possible," said athletic director Dale Miller. For more information of the setbacks of the track field go to Field Improvements Delayed. The field inside the track is scheduled to be open next fall to PE classes and the girls' field hockey practices.
The softball, baseball and stadium fields belong to Maryland National Park and Planning Commission (MNCPPC). The soft and baseball fields were renovated the same year they were built. MCPS and MNCPPC made an agreement that MNCPPC would maintain the fields as long as they could sell permits for the land during nights and weekends.
The condition of the field behind Blair has hindered several school sports teams. "It is seldom the girls' field hockey team practiced on a full field and sometimes the soccer teams had to go other places to practice," said Miller, who also mentioned the height of the grass and the uneven level of the field as harmful to the teams.
Miller said that the stadium field might get synthetic turf sometime in the future, but it is not likely. Synthetic turf may be needed because of the different types of shoes worn during games that could potentially harm the current field. During the last few years, the football team has had to change shoes whenever they played in the stadium so that the field would not get completely torn-up.
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