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Quakertown school district needs a fix for foul balls


A catch-all solution is proving elusive for Quakertown Community School District as it attempts to reduce the number of foul baseballs landing on nearby properties and threatening passing motorists.

Addressing the school board last week, Jamie Lynch, of D’Huy Engineering, agreed the current baseball field safety net wasn’t satisfactory. His pitch is to add a 60-foot net supported by three extension poles behind the 50-foot net that borders South Main Street at a cost of approximately $65,000.

The field, a professional marvel to some and an extravagance to others, has already cost the district more than $6 million.

Board members questioned how much the higher structure would alleviate the problem, and Lynch conceded it was impossible to quantify that.

“If I did a 100-foot net, balls would still go over it,” he said.

And with a 10-week wait for the poles, the pressing problem isn’t going away anytime soon. Board members conceded there may be practice games, and other parties may rent out the field for use.

“We need to solve this quickly, but we want to make sure we solve this correctly,” said director David O’Donnell.

At the April meeting, several residents complained that the district’s “field of dreams” had become a nightmare for them, but the board voted 5-4 to continue home games despite the risk to the public and potential financial liability for the district.

Board President Todd Hippauf, and Directors Chris Spear, Chuck Shermer, Ron Jackson, Glenn Iosue voted in favor.

Pastor Julie Bergdahl, of Quakertown Borough, whose property has been struck numerous times said the situation was “wholly unacceptable and needs to stop.”

There were also complaints about the sound system, which plays music in the evenings when the field is in use. The district is working to alleviate that issue by moving it closer to the bleachers.

“We’re part of the community. Why don’t you care about us?” inquired another victim of the errant balls and blaring sounds.

“Everything you said, we’re addressing. We absolutely have community in mind,” replied director Spear.

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