Every summer the end of the school year signals a welcome break for students, teachers and school district officials everywhere.
But here in Camas, a drumbeat of activity to renovate and improve existing facilities along with plans to build a new school have kept school district officials busier than usual throughout the summer.
As reported in the Post-Record the past two weeks, the Camas School district, while overseeing a major renovation of Doc Harris Stadium, is also moving ahead on (1.) Construction of a new elementary school just west of Crown Road, (2) Extensive additions and renovation to Camas High School and (3) Additions and renovation to Dorothy Fox Elementary School.
However for many student-athletes, coaches and parents, the most welcome ongoing project might be a simple drainage project, taking place at the Camas High School baseball and softball fields.
The new drainage system project, which got underway at the end of June, is designed to “remove surface water off the field, which makes it dry quicker, like pulling a plug on a bathtub,” explained project manager Kevin Brown of Bernhardt Golf, the contractor on the project.
“This should improve all the standing water in the outfield and makes the fields playable earlier in the spring,” Brown continued.
The mere prospect of having the varsity and JV baseball and softball fields playable earlier in the spring should be cause for outright celebration in the Camas community, as well as just Camas High School.
Leagues such as Camas Junior Baseball and ASA softball use the CHS fields as well as the Papermaker freshman, JV and varsity teams. Those athletes and coaches remember all too well game after game being cancelled or postponed, due to swamp like conditions on the fields the past few seasons.
Conditions were so bad on the fields this past spring that any rain at all, even if followed by afternoon clearing still resulted in standing water in the outfield, around the bases and on the baselines at game time. Games were cancelled or postponed in droves. Due to terrible field conditions, the CHS varsity baseball team ended up playing just one game at home this spring, despite taking second place at state.
At a cost of $190,680, this project is long overdue, and hopefully one that will reap immediate benefits to the baseball and softball community if it works according to plan.
Hopefully the project will do just that – work according to plan or perhaps even better than envisioned.
Camas baseball and softball players deserve a dry season in the sun, after dealing with the constant mud and muck of the past several years.