Originally constructed in 1948, the ballpark last received an extensive renovation in 1975, and a moderate renovation in 1996.
In 2015, plans began to once again renovate our historic ballpark in order to ensure it lives on for decades to come.
From the beginning, we set out to accomplish three primary goals:
- Ensure the longevity of the ballpark by replacing and repairing aging components, such as the roof, that were in imminent danger of failing, as well as modernizing elements of the ballpark to ensure decades more of usefulness;
- Bring the ballpark in line to the greatest extent possible with the Americans with Disabilities Act, providing accessible restrooms, an ADA-compliant entrance ramp into the grandstand, and converting a section of grandstand seating to accommodate wheelchairs. We also included adding an independent Family Restroom into the bathroom plans.
- Accomplish all of these goals while maintaining the iconic look and feel of the vintage ballpark.
The most immediate need was the replacement and reconstruction of the roof. With original timbers nearly three quarters of a century of exposure to the elements, the canopy over the grandstand was judged by contractors to be on the verge of becoming structurally unsound.
Construction methods have changed a lot over seven decades, but our team and contractor worked with a local sawmill to have custom produce rough-sawn timbers to match the original aesthetic of ballpark, and built the new canopy in such a way that it nearly identically resembled the original roof.
To compliment the replacement, volunteers worked to do a complete repaint of the entire park, giving the old wooden grandstand a completely renewed look. Coupled with the reconstructed roof, the ballpark had a new life to it once again.
Some things you just don't see coming. But you have to react to them, and our community came together in less than 9 months to fix this major unforeseen need!
For the first 40+ years of the ballpark, there was no scoreboard. But through a generous sponsorship from a local hospital, Deltaville Ballpark's first scoreboard was installed in the mid-90's. However in 2016, after over 20 years of operation, the electrical components within the scoreboard failed, and after multiple attempts by technicians to solve the issue, the out-of-production scoreboard was deemed unfixable.
Not part of the original renovation plan, and not wanting to shift dollars from donations made towards Phase 2 of the renovation, a year-long fund drive ensued. The work culminated in an exciting day in the spring of 2017 when 5 local businesses came together to donate their manpower, equipment, and expertise to install the ballpark's beautiful new scoreboard. Walden's Construction coordinated and directed the project; Northwind Construction lent their mobile aerial work platform for the installation; Deltaville Boatyard sent their sailboat mast crane and operator to lift the components into place; Birdseed Electrical completed all of the electric hookups, and Atlantic Metal Products donated the steel beams to mount the scoreboard in the air over the outfield wall. Two local businesses, Atlantic Metal Products and Middle Peninsula Insurance, provided multi-year sponsorships to cover roughly 1/3 the cost of the scoreboard. A host of local citizens provided donations to fund the remainder, and when about 90% of the funding had been secured, "a good ole boy from Saluda came in at the end to take care of the rest." (That's the only recognition he wanted.)
The Ballpark was built long before the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed, and its construction gave no consideration to those whose mobility presented challenges. Added to the fact that Deltaville is a community with a large number of retirees, making the ballpark more accessible to those whose lives are made easier by ADA accommodations was a top priority.
It was identified that the seldom used 1st Base entrance would be a suitable location to bring a handicap ramp into the grandstand. In order to achieve the necessary length of ramp for the height needed, the ramp would need to run behind home plate. Only 18" separated the concession from the grandstand, necessitating the existing antiquated concession to be demolished.
Two rows of seating were removed immediately adjacent to the ramp inside the stands to provide for a spacious flat area for those in wheelchairs to enjoy the game. And with the needed reconstruction of the concession stand, another goal was achieved in obtaining a modernized kitchen area, complete with all the modern necessities, such as hot water (the old concession stand didn't even have that!)
Finally, it was apparent from the beginning that the enlarged concession and planned phase 3 bathrooms would exceed the boundaries of the existing chain link fence surrounding the ballpark. With a desire to make the area enclosed by the fence around the grandstand a more enjoyable place to gather, a new metal fence was installed whose style matched the quality and aesthetic of the ballpark.
With the Ballpark's 75th season set to commence in 2022, we are excited to complete the third and final phase of our renovation goals that were first set in motion six years ago. That final phase is the replacement of the current, antiquated bathroom structure with a modern and accessible bathhouse.
The current bathroom is more than 50 years old, and was built long before standards for accessibility were in place. The structure consists of two tiny and narrow single stall bathrooms, serviced with only cold water, and a small storage closet on the back side. Two stalls does not come close to today's requirements for a facility that seats 300 spectators, or even more for an on-field event, and they in no way conform to ADA standards.
Phase 3 will rectify these issues, and complete the ADA-centric renovations of Phase 2. The new bathroom will feature triple the number of toilets in both the men's and women's restrooms, with each restroom being fully ADA-compliant. In addition, a third gender-neutral "Family Restroom" will be provided, complete with reinforced baby changing table, and will also be ADA-compliant. The design and construction will mimick Phase 2's concession stand architecture, providing continuity to the ballpark's aesthetic.
The projected cost of dollars and in-kind donations has been estimated by our contractors at approximately $80,000. We aim to begin construction in the fall of 2021, following the completion of the season's events.