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2010 season will be the Friday Harbor Wolverines' last at Hartman Field, hope to move to Carter Avenue sports fields
The Friday Harbor Wolverines hope to begin playing baseball at the Carter Avenue sports fields beginning March 2011.
The school district has been notified by St. Francis Church, owner of Hartman Field, that it plans to build a fellowship hall and that the field will be needed to accommodate parking and stormwater retention.
In other words, the 2010 baseball season will be the Wolverines' last at Hartman Field.
The transition won't be smooth. Town Land Use Administrator Michael Bertrand said Wednesday that the Friday Harbor Athletic Association must complete sidewalks on Carter Avenue to Guard Street, finish the on-site restrooms, complete fencing and stormwater retention, and file an operations and management plan before an occupancy permit is issued.
How much that work would cost, and how the money would be raised, was not known Wednesday.
The San Juan Island School District owns the site, purchased with a bond that was approved by voters in 1997 and paid off this year. Friday Harbor Athletic Association has a contract with the district to develop the site. The project has, thus far, been paid for through fund-raising.
Bertrand said Wednesday that sanctioned school games will be allowed at the sports fields, but not exclusively; non-school sports must be allowed as well because the site is zoned for community use.
Mike Nash, a member of St. Francis Church's building committee, expressed regret that the Wolverines will have to move from Hartman Field.
"The new fellowship hall won't infringe on the field, but the parking and water retention areas will. There's no way around that," Nash said. "I would have hoped the ballfield could have stayed, but it can't."
Nash said the church is "in the process of negotiating" for the construction of a parish hall and that he hopes construction will begin in April. The building will be about 7,500 square feet and will have accommodate 186 people at tables and 200 in a theater-type setting. It will have three classrooms, a conference room, offices, and small support rooms such as storage.
The fellowship hall will be on Price Street and will replace the current, smaller hall. The parking area will be behind it, extending to about halfway between the outfield fence and the second-base line, Nash said.
Permits have not been issued yet for the project by the Town of Friday Harbor.