Chester Willis Field renovations coming soon

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 24, 2008

NATCHEZ — It’s been a long time since Chester Willis Field has had any major renovation work done to it.

However, county officials say within a month, an expansive renovation of the baseball stadium will be complete just in time for high school baseball season to begin.

“The first game is Feb. 16, and we should be done by then,” Adams County Recreation Department board member David Carter, who is spearheading the project, said. “We’re fighting the cold and rain, but when the weather is good, we’re busting elbows to get it done.”

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The project includes new bleachers, new, higher backdrops, fresh paint on the steel structure that supports the bleachers, updated concession stands and an updated sound system.

Carter said the total project should cost less than $23,000, which comes from the Adams County recreation fund.

Carter said renovations for the baseball field, which is shared by Natchez High, Trinity and Cathedral as well as Alcorn State on occasion, were long overdue.

“That’s really the only regulation size field you can play high school baseball games at,” Carter said. “That’s why it’s so important to keep it up.”

Carter said it had been at least 20 years since the last renovation at the field.

“The bleachers were a safety concern, and there was lots of chipped and peeling paint,” Carter said.

Natchez High baseball coach Charlie Williams agreed that renovations to the facility were long overdue.

“Now when people (fans of the visiting team) come here, we’ve got a facility we can be proud to show off,” Williams said. “We’ve got one of the biggest 5A schools in the state but our home field was sub-par. It’s good to bring the park up to standards. It’s great for the city.”

Carter said the work on Chester Willis Field is only the beginning.

“This is the start of some good things to come,” Carter said. “In the future we want to do some other things out there.”