Swinging for the fence: Winona State University offers new proposal to baseball field controversy

Zach Bailey, Editor-In-Chief

Zach Bailey/Winonan

Spring is already on the minds of the Winona State University baseball team.

The team is waiting on an official decision about the construction of a new baseball field in Winona.

Talk began in May 2014 about the possibility of turning one of the city softball fields by the East Winona Lake into a shared, turf field. Eric Schoh, Winona State’s athletic director, is one of the leads of the project.

“The possibility of getting an all turf field is very exciting,” Matt O’Brien, pitching coach for Winona State, said.

Winona State was in talks of putting forward all $5.4 million in costs, and the field would be used by Winona State in the spring and parts of fall and the community would use it the rest of the year. Talks of this, however, were shot down after community members complained about the area around the lake having “too much purple.”

As of now, the dimensions of Loughrey Field are too small to fit NCAA standards, and with the placement of the field as is by Altra Federal Credit Union Stadium, it would be impossible to rebuild the field. In order to fit the dimension constraints, Winona State has to rebuild.

Kyle Poock, head coach of Winona State’s baseball team, said that the new field would hopefully be open to not only Winona State and Southeast Tech but to the community as well.

A community meeting will take place Tuesday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. in the main lobby of Southeast Technical College.

The meeting is open to the public, and its purpose is to inform members of the community on the details of the new field featuring an open question portion.

“Though everything is still waiting on its final approval,” Poock said, “hopefully the field will be up and running by spring of 2017.”