“If you build it they will come,” says the famous line in the movie “Field of Dreams.” However, when it comes to restoring the old William Biles baseball field, there will be no such field of dreams as the county’s Building and Grounds Committee nixed the idea of restoring the field located behind the county government building.
“It would take several hundred dollars, if not thousands, to fix up that field,” said committee chairman Carl E. Bouldin during a meeting.
The idea of the ball field was brought up after requests were made to use the field for baseball and football practice. The field is located in a hollow behind the county government building on Locust Street. Back in the days of William Biles School, the field was used for recess and as a baseball and softball field. Back then, it included a fence and backstop and was lined for competitive play.
However, since the closure of William Biles and the conversion of the building for use as the county administrative offices, the fence has been taken down and the field has fallen into disrepair.
Given the need for practice space locally, Bouldin said he was contacted by a youth football coach who wants to use the field for his team. The field was mowed and inspected only to find out it is full of pits and holes.
“It’s not safe for kids to play on,” Bouldin pointed out. “To get it where it would need to be would take a lot of work. There are just too many holes and ditches down there.”
Fellow committee member Michael Shane Wilcher agreed the liability for the county would not be worth the risk of allowing teams to practice on the field, although the committee floated the idea of placing a sign on the field, warning people to play there at their own risk.
“I hate we have to turn them down, but it just can’t be done right now,” Bouldin said, noting the discussion about the field is an annual subject before the board.