Why It's Taking 4 Years to Build a Dallas ISD Baseball Field, and Other Rummaging From Robert Wilonsky This Week

Here's the latest edition of Robert Wilonsky's Most Dallas Newsletter Ever. Enter your email address to subscribe below.This is NOT how you're supposed to play ball, DISDDuring my code-violations tour of South Dallas Monday for today's column, I stumbled across the Meadow Street ball field you see here. Only way I could tell it was a ball field was from the high fence and dugouts. Otherwise, quite the Field of Weeds. Trash is also piled high where Birmingham Avenue dead-ends into the DART tracks. I asked a resident when that field went up. "A couple of years ago," he said, not exactly sure of the date. I asked for whom it was built. "The city, I think." So I called Park and Rec and asked. Nope, I was told. That's Dallas Independent School District land, I was told. Should have known — it's two blocks from James Madison High School on Martin Luther King Boulevard. So I emailed DISD spokesperson Robyn Harris to ask when construction began and why it looks abandoned. DISD just wrapped up its spring-ball season. Surely Madison would have liked using this field rather than schlepping all the way to what my ball-playing son calls the "rock field" in Pleasant Grove, where it plays its home games. Harris said at first that it's a construction site — "ongoing." "The phase we entered as the rain picked up was to spray the area with a chemical to treat weeds before sod is installed," she wrote. "I've checked and we are on schedule to be out to begin the treatment tomorrow since we have a break in the rain. Also, once sod is laid you may observe an intentional 'overgrowing' so that it can catch and become thick in time for next season." Which didn't answer my query about when construction began. So I emailed and remailed and got an answer Tuesday morning. And it's no good answer at all. But it does tell you plenty about how the city and DISD work together to get things done for kids who need it most in areas of town that have the least. "Construction began in the summer of 2016 with rough grading, drainage and concrete installation," she wrote back. "The fencing was complete in the summer of 2017, however we've experienced various delays due to city permitting on various items, such as the securing of proper irrigation. Irrigation was installed in October 2018." It is now May 2019, and the school year is almost over.Also of note: Workers started the original Yankee Stadium in 1922 and had it ready for the 1923 season.  Continue reading...

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