Plans for Carson Park upgrades are moving forward, as Eau Claire officials are allowing fundraising efforts to begin.
The proposed upgrades would mark a significant overhaul for the home of the Eau Claire Express (summer collegiate; Northwoods League). Current plans call for upgrades to the ballpark’s bleacher seating, along with a new artificial playing surface.
City officials expect that the upgrades will come to fruition, provided that fundraising efforts by the Carson Park Baseball Renovation group can cover half the project’s cost. The city would pay the other half as part of a private/public partnership. More from WEAU:
Eau Claire Utility Manager Jeff Pippenger says the Parks and Recreation Department along with city council, approved the improvements to the baseball bleachers and artificial turf, with a 50% public, 50% private partnership in paying for the updates.
““I’m optimistic and I’m hopeful. I’d love to see that happen. The bleacher and the stadium improvements came up with an estimated cost of $2.5 million, so the fundraising effort we’re looking for which is the 50% public/ private partnership would be $1.25 million,” says Pippenger.
Turf renovations weren’t a part of the capital improvement plan until 2019, but if enough money is raised, the renovations could begin earlier.
“If fundraising is successful to the $1.75 million, then we would be looking at going ahead with the bleacher and stadium improvements plus the artificial turf,” says Pippenger.
Carson Park opened in 1937, and was constructed as a Works Progress Administration project. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.
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