Let me clear up some confusion on the potential of a new softball/baseball complex idea

Note to readers: On July 27, the Times published a letter to the editor from Travis Oliver in which he proposed building a “starfish” of five baseball/softball diamonds north of Crookston Sports Center, and then turning some of the land at the current Highland Park/Highland Complex into residential housing lots. In this letter, Oliver follows up with more detail and responds to questions and concerns his first letter generated.

    Let me clear up some confusion on the potential of a new softball/baseball complex idea

    First off, Jim Karn Field would stay, the tennis courts would stay, the splash park would stay, the Lions shelter would stay, the playground and skate park would stay. Diamond #1 (with the lights) would stay and potentially be remodeled to be the permanent home of CHS Girls Softball and the future CHS Kickball team…JK.

    Diamonds 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, the horseshoe pits and possibly “The Hut” would be removed and turned into housing lots. That area is roughly 18+ acres, depending on layout, there would potentially be 30 lots there. Not sure what the lots would sell for or what kind of money could be recouped. As a realtor would say, location, location, location is what sells lots and houses.

     A few items I am unware of and what should be discussed is the infrastructure in the area. The water and sewer, could it handle more housing? Can the electrical grid handle more housing? Simply a few people in the know can probably answer these questions, if there needed to be upgrades what would that be and cost.

    With the help of a few in the community, I have come to realize that the current softball diamonds are too small to host any type of state tournament. There is not space to make the fields bigger. As for the new layout directly North of Crookston Sports Center. I was presented a few different ideas by a few people, the one that made the most sense was a 8 diamond layout.

    Do we need 8 diamonds, absolutely not but I guess we would hate to paint ourselves into a corner. I have included a few pictures of what it would look like and clearly Crookston does not build all 8 in one shot, maybe never but 5 would work. The first is a 8 field layout used in Grand Forks and the second the land in question.

    This is a simple approach, new concession area, better overall layout and provides a reason for future housing in the area.

    This is a look at the next 10 to 15 to 20 years of Crookston, this is chance to provide amenities that many other places cannot.

    Again, I am not an urban developer, this is a copycat system from what other towns have done already to provide better housing options at a closer proximity to the city.

Travis Oliver
Crookston