Plans are moving forward to replace the grandstand at Kruger Field in Perham. The committee that has gathered in recent weeks got together again Feb. 10 to receive current information on the "Save the Park" project.
Todd Barney of Otter Tail Power took care of the electrical needs prior to taking the grandstand down. Otter Tail Power has agreed to provide a single transformer and pad to light the park, and Arvig has agreed to bore the supply lines to each tower. JC Electric will supply their labor at no cost and materials at their cost.
Demolition of the current grandstand has begun. After taking bids, the City worked out a deal with some Amish farmers, who will pay the city $10 to demolish the wooden structure and take the scraps.
Chad Bormann of BHH Partners presented some preliminary drawings of a new grandstand structure, which will be concrete-based with wood planks for seating. Seating capacity would be around 425 and the estimated cost will be between $200,000 and $225,000.
The hopes of the group are that some supplies and services might be donated and labor volunteered, lowering that price tag.
The original plans are for a structure similar in shape to the current grandstand, with only the center section covered, and the press box at the rear of the grandstand, rather than above it on the roof.
The incline of the rows of seats would be greater than the current structure, and greater than the bleachers at Meinhover Field, giving fans better sight lines. It was also discussed to move the grandstand closer to home plate than it sits now, getting fans closer to the action.
The bleachers would also feature a wheel chair ramp, and two spaces for wheel chair access in the front row of the seats.
After some discussion, the idea of a back row for standing only, with a raised table to set food and drinks, could be added to a future design. Some work on the dugouts, like taking the roof off and raising it up for more headroom, and adding some length for equipment.
There will also be some storage room underneath the bleachers for the lawn mower and infield groomer.
BHH Partners will be making some minor adjustments.
The first big step toward paying for the new grandstand came in the form of a $20,000 donation from the Perham Pirates / Perham Athletic Association. The PAA is the entity that basically runs the Pirates and maintains Krueger Field. The money is basically remaining profits from the 1995 State Men's Amateur Baseball Tournament, which was saved and invested.
"This money is basically from the community," Al Krueger said. "It's nice to give it back to the community."
A Fundraising Committee has been formed, and they will be approaching area businesses, service organizations, individuals, and surrounding communities and baseball organizations.
All contributors will be recognized on a "Wall of Fame" that will go at the new Krueger Field. If you have construction skills, you can volunteer your time when the building begins. Individual pledges may be made over a three-year period, and businesses may pledge over a 5-year period.
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