Originally planned for last year, the upgrade of the baseball field on the property of the Collège Mont-Sacré-Coeur will be carried out by the city of Granby in the coming weeks.
Elected officials gave the green light on Tuesday night for the work to be carried out by the department of public works. A $ 60,000 envelope had already been prepared for the three-year investment program for this project by 2020, but the pandemic resulted in the postponement, stressed City Councilor and President of the Sports Committee, Stéphane Giard.
This extra playing surface will undoubtedly fulfill a need, confirms the president of Granby Minor Baseball, François Lemay. “Despite the Covidian gray, it’s good news,” he says enthusiastically.
Mr. Lemay points out that the increase in young baseball players in recent years has resulted in an increased need for playing surfaces. “Atoms are, for example, eight players per team, while the oldest are 10, 12. By definition we need more land. By adding Mont Sacré-Cœur, it’s great for us. We want to be able to keep the large parts of Choinière Park for the elderly, argues François Lemay.
Stéphane Giard emphasizes that the work will mainly make it possible to restore the terrain to promote safe sports. Installation of fences is not considered.
The city also has an agreement with the Collège Mont-Sacré-Coeur for the use of the various sports grounds in the area. A similar agreement is also in force with the high school of the Divine Word, where the baseball field is also used.
The president of Granby Minor Baseball confirms that the sport has been going “well” for several years. “Last year, despite COVID, we had a 10% increase in the number of players. This year we are three weeks ahead of our registrations compared to 2019. And we did not even have an open house. (…) We should now have 200 registrations again, ”he said.
When the repair work is completed at Mont-Sacré-Coeur, the land can be used four times a week, François Lemay believes.
In spite of everything, it remains to be seen what will be allowed by public health when the time comes.
“At the moment, in the orange zone, we can practice outside with 12 children and one coach. Yesterday (Tuesday) a new rule was added. The 12 children must wear a mask. You can not play games and go from one city to another. We are far from having a season. But we can do something, ”said Mr. Lemay.
The municipal council and the sports president also emphasize that the upgrade of the baseball field is in a way helping to develop another sports center in this sector of the city, where housing development is very active there.
“There are many young families living there. Having sports facilities in the south of the city was a must for us. There are tennis courts on the Mont-Sacré-Coeur, basketball courts, an indoor gym with Hirondelles. There is also the Artopex complex nearby. It gives us two great posts that we can use during activities or for regular leagues, “notes Stéphane Giard.
However, most sports facilities are close to the Léonard-Grondin sports center, rue Léon-Harmel. The water center, the skate park, the football pitches of Jean-Yves-Phaneuf Park, as well as the Napoléon-Fontaine Stadium, are also in the same square.