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Firestone Park’s Madison Field to be completed this year

By the end of the year, visitors to the Harvey S. Firestone Recreational Park in Columbiana will be greeted by the sight of a completely-new, professional-looking and well-maintained softball field with a new name, as well.

“Madison Field” is currently under construction as part of the ongoing renovation of the park under the auspices of the Restoration and Beautification Committee of Columbiana. The field has been made possible by donors, Randy and Beth Alexoff.

While located in generally the same current location near the Mirror Lake Pavilion, the field and related player entrances & traffic areas have been moved away from the roadway, a great improvement in safety, according to Jim Puhalla, the field’s design and construction consultant and sports-field engineer.

Its creation is adhering to the standard softball layout, with 60-ft bases, a 200-foot outfield & home-run fence and a 20-ft high backstop. The orientation of the field prevents the setting sun shining in the eyes of any player in any position during the game, and a perimeter drainage system has also been designed to keep water off the playing surfaces.

The field has been smoothed out and final-graded in preparation for seeding with a special mixture of 60% perennial ryegrass and 40% Kentucky bluegrass allowing for a “shorter-cut and more-colorful turf,” according to Puhalla. The dirt portion of the infield will be Mar-Co Clay’s Erie Ball Mix which is a standard clay-based material delivering maximum play with minimum upkeep and “no more mud games,” he pointed out.

Outstanding features to be included in the new field will be black-vinyl fencing and the construction of dugouts with concrete block side walls, chain-link fencing for back walls, steel beams, and a steel roof. Concrete pads will also be constructed in anticipation of the installation of future aluminum bleachers.

“A scoreboard could also be down the road,” Puhalla said. “When completed, this field will be comparable to a high-end high-school or college field,” he added.

One community organization eagerly awaiting the completion of the field is the Columbiana Softball Association, according to Kristy Pedicini, its vice-president.

“We anticipate that the new field will be first and foremost an environment in which our membership can take pride in while also learning the sport in a safe manner,” she said, “and by extension increase the number of young athletes who become interested in this wonderful sport.”

“Beyond that, and more obvious, will be the pride that extends beyond the Columbiana Softball Association and into the City of Columbiana and its residents and to the visitors to Firestone Park,” she added.

In addition to Puhalla, other area contractors involved in the construction of the field include Hillcrest Excavating Inc., Vance’s Landscape Supply Inc, and Lee Cain Fence LLC.

For more information about the renovation of Harvey S. Firestone Park, visit restorecolumbiana.com or Facebook at Restore Columbiana.

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