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Grants to Bring New Lights to Legion Memorial Field

By Jason Van Arkel, May 04, 2018

Legion Memorial Field already has some upgrades in place for this year’s Ottumwa High baseball season. Now, a series of grants are in place for the city and the school district to install new lighting at the facility in the Greater Ottumwa Park.

Local grants from the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation and the Wapello County Foundation, along with funds from Ottumwa Schools and the City of Ottumwa, will be used to match a $122,500 national Baseball Tomorrow Fund grant to install new lights and standards at the field.

The current light fixtures are about 20 years old, although many of the poles supporting those fixtures were put in place when Legion Field was originally constructed in the 1960s. Replacing the lighting system will mark the second phase of the baseball facility upgrade project. The first phase, which was completed last fall, included field work, new fencing in front of the dugouts and a new scoreboard.

“The Ottumwa High School Athletic Department would like to thank everyone involved in helping secure the funds needed to replace the lights at Legion Field,” said Athletic Director Scott Maas. “This is another step in our continuing quest to upgrade our athletic facilities, and we appreciate the hard work and dedication that was required to make it happen.”

Baseball Tomorrow Fund is a grant program of Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association, designed to promote the growth of youth baseball and softball participation. In existence since the 1999 World Series, the fund makes awards on a quarterly basis, funding approximately 55 projects per year averaging more than $1.8 million annually.

Work on installing the new lights is expected to take place soon after the end of Ottumwa’s 2018 baseball season. The Bulldogs begin play on May 21st with a doubleheader at Urbandale, and play their home opener May 23rd with a doubleheader against Oskaloosa.