$145K APPROVED FOR OLEAI BALLFIELDS

In a Dec. 22, 2008 letter to Ed Arriola, chairman of the Marianas Visitors Authority's Destination Enhancement Ad Hoc Committee, MVA managing director Perry John P. Tenorio said Nikolao Pula, Director of the US Office of Insular Affairs, had advised Gov. Benigno R. Fitial that the CNMI's grant request for the renovation of the two ballfields at the Olea Sports Complex has been approved.

The project has an estimated cost of $145,000 with the “Tan Ko” ballfield needing more repairs to meet the standard of the LG Twins, a professional baseball team from Korea which has been conducting its winter/spring training on Saipan for the past several years. The upgrading will also benefit local teams, such as those playing in the Saipan Major League and the Senior, Big, and Junior divisions of the Saipan Little League Baseball.

Repair works in the “Tan Ko” ballfield include backfill and leveling of infield and outfield areas, supply and installation of 50-foot high safety net, replacement of 10-foot high line fence and posts and non-working lights, installation of rail and post protective pads, electrical works, and relocation of the scoreboard. The scoreboard is to be moved from the interior side of the chain-linked fence to the exterior. Renovations and repairs in the “Tan Ko” Ballfield are estimated to cost $103,465.

The “Tan Ge” Ballfield will also undergo a facelift, as its infield and will be expanded. The expansion is expected to cost $2,400. The smaller field is used for games in the Major League of the SLLB and the slowpitch and fastpitch softball leagues and tournaments.

Bullpens in the two fields will also be relocated, while canopies will be constructed over existing batting tunnels. New batting tunnels will also be built in the two ballfields. Constructions of these bullpens, canopies, and batting tunnels are estimated to cost $27,000.

MVA assured the Historic Preservation Office that, which noted that the project would impact portions of the archaeological deposits underlying the sports complex, renovations and repairs will be done in compliance with Section 106 of the National Historical Preservation Act of 1966.

By Roselyn Monroyo, Reporter, Saipan Tribune 




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