The newly renovated softball complex at Fort Lewis College was dedicated Friday by city and college officials.
“These fields are glorious,” Mayor Sweetie Marbury said.
Marbury threw several celebratory pitches to Councilor Dean Bookie, who hit a ground ball and ran the bases in the spirit of the day.
President Dene Thomas also addressed the crowd and lauded the collaboration between the city and Fort Lewis College.
“Let’s rejoice and celebrate the partnership,” she said.
The newly completed renovations help fulfill a 50-year lease agreement between the college and the city.
As part of that agreement, the city committed to remodel the softball complex and build four new tennis courts. Both projects required $4.9 million from a variety of state, city and local sources. The city also built the new Smith Sports Complex for $5.5 million as part of the contract.
During the renovation, Aspen Field was brought up to NCAA standards, which required the field to be regraded. The field also has new bathrooms, locker rooms and lights to help eliminate light spilling over the edge of the mesa.
The fields were finished earlier this year, in time for the Skyhawks softball team to host its first true home game since April 24, 2016. Team members pitched in to make sure that would be possible by helping to finish the dugouts. They mixed and poured cement and laid the bricks for the dugouts.
The field was expected to be finished before the 2018 season began, but it faced several delays because a water line had to be realigned deeper underground, the sod failed to grow and a prominent lip where the dirt infield met the grass of the outfield had to be fixed.