DOUGLAS — The newly named Bo Hall baseball field on the Cochise College Douglas Campus is getting an upgrade.
The grass infield is being removed and replaced with synthetic turf while the outfield will remain natural grass.
The project began in October and is expected to be completed in January.
According to Angel Ortega, Cochise College associate athletic director/sports information director, the planning for the project began last year under Guy Meyer, Cochise College’s former athletic director, and J.D. Rottweiler, president of Cochise College.
“It was something that was pretty much a necessity,” Meyer said. “Bo had always wanted to do it but after meeting and discussing it with J.D. we felt it was something that needed to be done. J.D. found the money to do it and gave us the go-ahead to get started.”
Meyer said Hall and baseball coach Todd Inglehart have done an amazing job with the baseball program and for this project to get done is a credit to them.
“But in the end it comes down to the kids,” Meyer said. “We want them to have a great place to be proud of.”
Meyer, who is now the assistant athletic director for external relations at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, said even though he no longer is at Cochise, he’s happy seeing the project come to fruition.
“In the end it’s going to save dollars, it’s going to save water, resources, personnel, time and frustration,” he said. “It’s a really, really needed update.”
According to Ortega the project entails a full synthetic turf infield and pitcher’s mound as well as the renovation of both the home and visitor’s dugout, which includes new barriers with padding and new rubber flooring.
“The project is being completed by FieldTurf USA Inc. out of Calhoun, Georgia, who also installs turf on various college football and baseball fields as well as high schools in Arizona,” Ortega said. “The total project has a cost of about $450,000.”
“We are very excited,” Inglehart said. “Can’t wait to see it when it’s finished. It will be pretty surreal to look out at a field without ‘lips’ and ‘humps’ all through the infield.”
Inglehart noted one thing that really occurs to him is the money and time that will be saved with a synthetic surface.
“It also eases my mind that when we come back in August after summer that the field will be playable,” he said. “For 20-plus years that has not been the case due to neglect throughout the summer.”
Inglehart said this would not be happening had it not been for Rottweiler.
“This was his plan,” he said. “Our program owes it all to him. He has always been an advocate for athletics. We are incredibly grateful.”
While the field was being worked on the Apaches baseball team was practicing on the outfield at Cochise College as well as at Douglas High School.
“Very thankful to Fabian Ochoa and Douglas High School for the usage,” Inglehart said. “It has actually been a good thing. We have been going five to six days a week since August. Every other day we are at the DHS with the other day’s spent here in our (batting) cages.
“We are still able to use the outfield portion of the field to run and throw. We toned down the workload a little which has helped our energy level as we finish up the fall.”
“We expect the project to be complete by the time the team gets back on the field from Christmas break in January in time for the start of the 2023 regular season,” Ortega said.