A sketch of the proposed softball complex that was handed out by University of Minnesota Morris officials.

Morris Schools Superintendent Troy Ferguson told the KMRS Community Connection that the softball complex on the grounds of the University of Minnesota Morris is moving along, with the design phase of the project completed.

“It’s been the effort of a lot of people. I know Mary Holmberg has been in my ear since I started and I have the utmost respect for her and her commitment to her program,” said Ferguson. “And that just roller-coasted — is it going to happen, is it not going to happen — and finally, so many people stepped up to make it happen, the board saw it as a good thing. By the spring of 2021, we should be playing games there.”

Ferguson said the moving of dirt for the project should be happening soon.

In the meantime, the Morris City Council this week approved its contribution for Phase I of the softball project, which amounts to $150,000. City Manager Blaine Hill told the KMRS Community Connection where the money would be coming from.

“$100,000 is going to be coming from liquor store profits and $50,000 from the General Fund reserve of the city,” said Hill. “And then we’ll actually give it to Community Education and Recreation and they will participate as a member in the agreement for future operation and maintenance of the facility.”

Each partner in the project will be kicking in equal amounts of funding – the city, the Morris School District, and the University of Minnesota Morris. Phase I includes the building of two league-regulation softball fields and the press box/restroom area. In an update given to the City Council, U of M Morris Vice Chancellor Bryan Herrmann reported that about $320,000 has been raised for the project from local fundraising, a number higher than most council members were expecting.

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