DEL NORTE — The Upper Rio Grande School District (URGSD) broke ground Thursday, Sept. 30, on its new baseball field located just east of the new high school campus. After months of negotiations with Rio Grande County, the Town of Del Norte and D Mountain Parks and Recreation District, the school district opted to utilize their land for the new field and to allow other opportunities to grow in the Del Norte Athletic Fields.
For anyone who is not aware, original plans at the beginning of the 2021 summer were for the County to transfer ownership of the Del Norte Athletic Fields to URGSD, but because an agreement was not reached and deadlines were missed, the school district stepped away from the initiative.
Now, D Mountain Parks and Recreation District is attempting to do something with the land. D Mountain is currently working on a feasibility study for a potential indoor recreation center which would be placed on the 40-plus acres located south of the school.
Once the school district shifted focus, the Board of Education decided to use the money being saved for a new baseball field and build it on the 10-acre lot that was purchased as part of the BEST grant when the new school was built.
“We had plans to build the baseball field originally but it eventually just didn’t fit into the school plans for the BEST grant. We have been setting money aside for the project since though and now we feel is a good time to start,” said Superintendent Aaron Horrocks.
Horrocks said that the field would be an extension of the school campus and be used for school-related events.
“We will have concession stands and dugouts, everything we need for a proper baseball field and we are so excited about it,” Horrocks said.
The school district is continuing to look for grants that may help curve the expense of the project but also feel that they are well within their means to move forward with the beginning stages.
“We have been saving for this for a while and we plan to continue to budget savings for future projects on the field. We just felt the timing was right for this to start now,” Horrocks added.
The baseball team gathered at the site of the future baseball field and with the help of coaches, fellow students and staff broke ground on the new field.
“We just couldn’t be more excited,” Horrocks said.
As long as weather and other factors work out, the field is expected to be ready for the 2022 season in April.