Alexandria baseball fields to get upgrades, including batting cages, new scoreboard, press box and more

The Alexandria Youth Baseball Association has been working with local partners for monetary and in-kind donations to complete the projects.

Agenda - Monday, May 8, 2023
This is a concept drawing showing proposed improvements at Dean Melton/Fillmore Park. The new batting cages would be located outside the field of play in left field, indicated by the rectangular box in the upper part of the drawing.

ALEXANDRIA — Batter up!

Batting cages will soon be set up at Dean Melton/Fillmore Park in Alexandria.

At its meeting Monday night, the Alexandria City Council authorized the Alexandria Youth Baseball Association to work with Tradesmen Construction and Alex Brick and Stone to install the cages. Once the project is complete, the association would donate the cages to the city.

The cages are part of an ongoing effort to provide more amenities at ball fields throughout the city.

The Alexandria Youth Baseball Association has been working with local partners for monetary and in-kind donations to complete the projects. It secured donations for a new scoreboard at Knute Nelson Memorial Park that will be functional next week and also made contributions to the new field turf that will be installed this fall.


New Scoreboard-DSC_1557.JPG
A new scoreboard sits in right field at Knute Nelson Memorial Park. The scoreboard was put in place before Alexandria College's playoff games on May 5-7, 2023, and is not yet in operation.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

Besides installing new outdoor, two-lane batting cages, the AYBA and city are also looking into the possibility of adding two soft toss stations at Dean Melton/Fillmore Park as well.

The batting cages will be located outside the field of play in left field.

Agenda - Monday, May 8, 2023
This photo shows what the new double batting cages would look like.

Tradesmen Construction agreed to donate the machine and labor time on the concrete pad excavation, valued at $3,405, which reduced the bill from $5,292 to $1,887. It also agreed to furnish the materials, equipment and labor for the concrete slab for the double cages for $17,571.

The rebar for the project will be donated by Alex Brick and Stone. AYBA will purchase the poles and nets for the project.

The association has been involved with the city’s ongoing park master planning process and it’s nearing completion. The batter cage project was included in that plan.

Lynn Timm in the city building department reviewed the plans and determined there would be no building permits required for the project.

There is no financial obligation to the city to construct the cages.

In related action, the council talked about other improvements that await Knute Nelson Memorial Park – a new concession stand/restroom building on the first base side; a press box above the first base dugout; repurposing the existing concession stand into a storage building; new an off-leash dog park; a playground and a 15-space parking lot.


The current concession stand is a re-purposed storage building that is past its useful life, according to city staff. The press box at field level behind home plate suffers from water draining into the building.

All the improvements at Knute Nelson Memorial Park were part of preliminary concept sketches that the city reviewed in early 2022.

Since then, the city was approached by the AYBA about the timing of construction of the buildings. AYBA is proposing to work with community partners to assist in the cost of the project.

In order to begin those conversations, however, city staff said a more detailed design and cost estimates are necessary. Since the buildings would be owned by the city, staff said it made sense for the city to take the lead in the design process.

The council agreed to call for requests for architectural services for the concession/restrooms and the press box.

Staff will review the proposals and return to a council meeting in June with a recommendation.

Al Edenloff is the editor of the twice-weekly Echo Press. He started his journalism career when he was in 10th grade, writing football and basketball stories for the Parkers Prairie Independent.
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