The facility will benefit high school and youth baseball and softball programs in the Milwaukie area

Saturday, May 2, was a big day for Milwaukie baseball and softball.

Thanks to funds from the school district and donations from community organizations, businesses and individuals, Milwaukie youth and high school baseball programs have a new field house practice facility, located near the Lake Road playing fields.

The 40-foot-by-120-foot wood-framed metal structure has three long tunnels separated by netting, with enough space to operate six batting stations at one time.

JOHN DENNY - High school baseball players (left to right) Riley Howard, Noah Miller and Brad McVay were at Milwaukies field house to practice on May 2, when the new facility was dedicated.Donations of labor and money from the community towards the facility total close to $80,000. Milwaukie Junior Baseball Association was a huge donor to the project. The association has an annual budget of $55,000 and they donated $20,000.

MJBA’s donated funds were raised by the MJBA board of directors, hosting 40 teams in a fall ball league over the past five seasons.

“[Having this facility is] huge for us!” said Milwaukie Junior Baseball president Charles Dean. “It gives the kids a place to practice the year around, when the weather’s bad or when it’s dark out. We can host clinics, have a place to train our kids and coaches.”

Dean says he hopes that through raising additional funds, heat and insulation can be added down the road. And, he says, perhaps video camera’s can be purchased, to aid in instruction.

There were a number of other donors to the project, including: North Clackamas Junior Softball Association, Mustang Baseball Association, Milwaukie High School PTSA, Clackamas Baseball Booster Association, Friends of Putnam Baseball, Milwaukie Rotary, Friends of Baseball, All Season Plants, Ground Up Services, Oregon Commercial Painters, Rodda Paint, PDX Designs, Fast Signs, Pacific Fence, Lake Road Neighborhood Association, Tory and Yvonne McVay, Bob and Patty Calwhite, Kevin and Dana Miller, Jaime Webster Photography, Milwaukie Rules, Craig Mitchell Photography, Pepi Anderson, Lisa Batey, Diana Hill, Aaron Lloyd and Rose Daschel-Lloyd, Sam and Stephanie Walker, David and Juli Howard.

“It’ll help our program a lot,” said Noah Miller, a sophomore who plays in the Milwaukie’s high school baseball program. “Before we weren’t able to get much practice time, because we had to share the gym with basketball [for rainy day and off-season practices].”

“And we had to use squishy balls [in the gym],” sophomore Brad McVay said. “And the lighting in the gym was so bad you could barely see.”

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