Canfield Schools begins work on indoor sports complex
By ROBERT CONNELLY
The Canfield school district continues to upgrade athletic facilities, building an indoor complex to be used mostly by the softball and baseball programs during winter months.
The James and Coralie Centofanti Sports Complex is in the beginning stages, and Mark Luchansky, chairman of the indoor sports complex project committee, said the project has raised $126,000 of the $150,000 cash needed. The amount raised includes 24 donations from families
and businesses, according to Athletic Director Greg Cooper.
Luchansky said York Mahoning donated heating equipment, Stephan Berry has donated $15,000 in architectural services, and Steve Delucia of Delucia Homes has donated his time as the project manager, among other area businesses that have helped, including volunteer work in building the facility.
“The community of Canfield — the parents, the supporters — are the ones that originated this idea and found a way to do this in a manner that won’t cost the school system tax dollars,” Cooper said.
This new facility will sit behind the home stands of Canfield’s football stadium and between the softball and baseball fields. The building will be tied into an existing equipment shed.
Luchansky and Cooper said they hope the project will be finished by the end of October.
The idea for the project came about from the baseball team’s annual spring-break visit to Myrtle Beach, S.C., sponsored by the Diamondbackers, Canfield’s baseball booster club. As a member of the club and a parent of one of the players, Luchansky made the trip last year.
“We’re behind the curve because the southern teams have already played 12 games while the northern state teams that had traveled down to South Carolina were lucky to get a game or two in,” Luchansky said. “We go to one of the venues down there, and they got basically a picnic pavilion which they had converted into outdoor batting cages. ... [I] took some photographs of it, talked to some people down there and got the dimensions and brought the idea back to the softball and baseball teams.”
From there, Luchansky received the board of education’s approval to begin raising money for the privately funded effort to build the complex. The reason the project took longer than Luchansky had originally planned is the complex has become more than just batting cages with netting. There will be two movable pitching mounds, concessions, restrooms, and heating and lighting in the building.
The floor will have an artificial-turf infield and could be used by more than just the baseball or softball teams, such as the soccer team’s off-season training, the band and other teams.
Cooper explained that organizers looked at the project and said, “Let’s try to make sure we optimize the use of the space and don’t kick ourselves six months to a year from now” about what could have been done.