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College beefs up baseball facilities

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A new baseball field and an updated softball field should amp up Dakota County Technical College's ball programs. The college has started projects that will result in updated facilities for the Blue Knights and improve the fastpitch field.

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Ames Construction donated in-kind service, which has resulted in nearly $1 million worth of work.

"Mr. Ames has been quite generous. We are very excited about the new field. It will take our baseball program to the next level," said Ron Thomas, DCTC president.

Work is under way on the project, although some technical issues still have to be ironed out. On Tuesday the Rosemount Planning Commission approved the site plan and the rezoning of the land from agricultural to public institutional.

Commissioner Vanessa DeMuth added a condition to the approval that the college get an environmental assessment because the land has been identified as potentially polluted by Dakota County.

The city council will give the final approval at its next meeting.

The project did draw some ire from commissioners because construction began before approval was sought.

The project includes a full sized baseball field complete with bleachers for 640 people, a 7,200 sq. ft. building for storage, a batting cage and two dugouts. The full-sized baseball field will be located on the south side of the campus.

DCTC Athletic director Cam Stoltz said he hopes a new baseball field and an updated softball field will rally more support for Dakota County Technical College ball teams.

The DCTC baseball team has been playing at Alimagnet Park in Burnsville for the past eight years. Having a home on campus, Stoltz said, will mean the team won't have to travel so much and will make it easier for students to watch games.

"It's been a goal of ours for a long time. We'll be better able to tie into student life and give the kids a great place to play," said Stoltz.

Stoltz hopes turf will be installed this fall and that the field should be ready for play by next fall.

The city's baseball programs also could benefit from the new field. Stoltz said they hope to partner with the city to use the fields.

This is the second large project the college has undertaken to improve facilities for its sports programs. A large soccer complex was built last year and the Blue Knights started to play on the fields last spring. Ames Construction also donated service to build the three fields.

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Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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