Gender equality shown through softball field construction


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On Oct. 26, construction workers began digging into the corner of the J.V. softball field. The crew is digging brand new tin roofed dugouts, and plan to build a brand new field and facilities. After the plea of Emma Day, senior, and other students on the softball team about the discrepancies between the boys’ baseball and girls’ softball facilities, the board of education approved the field’s renovation plan.

“We are moving where the varsity field next to the staff parking lot was and are now locating it to the where the junior varsity field is near the edge of the building,” said Dan Jones, athletic director.

A brand new field, backed by an 18 foot beamed, steel based, net and a brick backstop as well as new facilities will be added for the girls’ softball field.

“We’re getting two permanent dugouts,” Jones said. “Building blocks with a tin roof, a press box, and a concession stand. We have a brick wall backstop, a nice big backstop similar to Hinsdale South’s softball team. [The field will be] handicap accessible, and there will be more seating for spectators.”

The timing of the project will run smoothly in conjunction with the softball season, with the project set to finish before the next season starts.

“They are going to work through winter, with weather permitting, and hopefully be done by April or  March in time for softball season,” Jones said. “The worst case scenario is we might start the season on the old field and a couple weeks in [to the season], start playing on the new one.”

An expensive project, the entire apparatus will cost more than $400,000. Jones said the players’ effort to inform the board of the discrepancies encouraged the project’s approval.

“I did hear from the board members; they wanted to hear from students, as it was very important to them,” Jones said.

Although these pleas during the heated board meetings made the project more public, Jones has had it on his mind for a long time.

““It was [on my radar] since I got here three years ago, a high priority on my list,” Jones said.

A press release by the school warned teachers that exiting the school will be more difficult due to the construction as the side road to 55th St. is now blocked. Jones said there have been minimal complaints, and traffic has flowed as smoothly as possible.

“It really has affected the staff parking lot,” Jones said. “There have been some complaints, but not a lot.”

In terms of the athletic department’s next major renovation, they say they are looking to renovate the football team’s huddle house.

The current construction is the result of student advocation and Central’s continuing efforts to express equality in all activities.

“The reason we went with this renovation, is because we wanted to have equal facilities between boys’ baseballs and girls’ softball,” Jones said.