The White Lake Little League is looking to upgrade the concession and restroom facility (pictured here). The league wants its Whitehall fields to match the quality of Cullen Fields in Montague.
The White Lake Little League, which hosted 12 teams in the Little League state juniors tournament last summer, would like to host more tournaments in the future.
To do that, the league wants to upgrade the concession and restroom facility at its Whitehall fields to match the quality of Cullen Fields in neighboring Montague which the organization also uses for its youth baseball and softball programs.
The Little League organization and the City of Whitehall are teaming up to building a concession/restroom facility at the fields located at the city-owned Funnell Field complex, and the city is submitting a grant application to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund.
The city council held a required public hearing on the grant request at Tuesday’s city council meeting. The council is expected to vote on whether to submit the grant application at its March 26 meeting. The grant deadline is April 1.
The concession/restroom project is expected to cost an estimated $120,000 of which 37.75% will be a local match of donated funds and in-kind work by the city and the contractor.
Curt Schaeffer, White Lake Little League president, told the council the concession/restroom building will serve anywhere from 25 to 150 people and players who will use the facility on any given evening from April to July. The fields are used for games two or three nights a week in addition to practices. In 2012, the league served over 300 children, ages 5-12, in the baseball program.
Schaeffer added that this year 450 to 500 boys and girls, ages 5-14, have signed up for the baseball and softball programs this spring and summer.
“It looks like it’s needed,” commented Tanya Cabala, council member. “It’s a good public/private partnership.”
The new building will replace the aging concession/restroom building which serves the two little league fields with just one unisex bathroom.
The proposed building, about four times as big as the current building, will include separate men’s and women’s restrooms, a concession area with roll-up door and counter, a storage area and utility area. It will be located where the current building stands.
Connie Campagna, the Parks and Cemetery supervisor for the City of Whitehall who is writing the grant, said the project will also make the fields universally accessible to the disabled. She said that is a requirement for using state funds for the project.
Accessibility will be provided by adding two paved handicapped parking spaces and concrete walks and viewing areas for both fields.
The White Lake Little League has already pledged $10,000 toward the matching funds. Winberg Construction of Montague, which provided a cost estimate for the project, offered to donate $10,500 in engineering costs as an in-kind match. The city is also offering $4,800 in in-kind work for demolition of the current structure, permit costs and landscape restoration.