Kings Park Youth seems to find a way to think outside the box, or in this case the diamond, baseball diamond that is.
Stymied by a lack of playing fields in the community and waiting on a decision from the state about whether or not the group can make use of unused land at the former Kings Park Psychiatric Center, they decided to use funds to help repair the Kings Park High School junior varsity baseball field.
The field, according to John McQuiad of KPY, was largely unusable.
“We looked at it to see what we could do to make it usable. We got in touch with Susan (Agruso) and she said to bring it to the board.”
The group reached out to several local companies to see if they would be willing to donate their time for labor and KPY financed the materials.
“It was a wonderful project. It was amazing how cooperative everyone involved was. Definitely a win-win situation,” said McQuaid.
The field, which is located on the western end of the school property on Rt. 25A had become unusable over the last several years due to cutbacks in school funding. The upgrade includes new fences, cement floors for future dugouts, a sprinkler system and a re-graded, sod field.
“We are very grateful for to KPY for their generous donation,” said Susan Agruso, district superintendent. “This is a significant improvement to our athletic fields and a terrific example of how the Kings Park community goes above and beyond to support our schools.”
Work on the field began of September 17 and is expected to be completed before the end of October. The field is new sod and will need the remainder of the fall and winter to take root and is expected to be ready for the spring season.
"We are so happy that we've been able to put this together for the school," said Darryl Valinchus, president of KPY. "Everyone in the school district from the superintendent, the athletic department and the grounds maintenance staff fave been very supportive throughout the entire process."
The effort even had some of the baseball players helping to dig and lay pipe for the water and students in shop class who created cut out dogs to scare the geese away.
“It was really a community coming together,” said McQuaid.