Successful first year for complex

Amy Carton
J. F. Edwards complex is home to the Geneseo High School softball teams, along with Geneseo’s Youth Baseball and Softball teams.

It is said “It takes a village ...”, but in Geneseo’s case, it just takes a caring community to get a project accomplished.

The J.F.?Edwards Complex was completed just as quickly as it began last July with the help from numerous volunteers and donors.

“The outcome has been fantastic and the community stepped up in a huge way,” said co-coordinator on the project Brad Toone. “And, no, I am not surprised the project got done as quickly as it did. Failure was not an option because we had to have it done for softball in the spring.”

The fields were ready, as scheduled, for the start of the 2010 Geneseo High?School softball season and were also put to good use this summer for the Geneseo Youth Baseball and Softball games.

“The fields themselves turned out great,” said Toone. “The sod is in super shape, and the seeded grass came in great. We just have to make sure it stays that way.”

One big test for the new fields was how they would drain and withstand water, which was a problem in the past.

“Everything drained where it was suppose to drain, and this year it has been really tested,” said Toone. “The day of the May 13 flood, Bob Pettit and I were at the fields and everything was draining. Everything was done well, and we are proud of the outcome.”

Having a good drainage system has helped in scheduling of games and Toone said there were not a lot of cancellations this year.

Although the school district owns the property, Toone said a few of the volunteers worked with the school district and helped maintain the fields.

“Jesse Dobbels has been huge in working with the fields on a daily basis and getting them ready for the high school season and summer games,” said Toone.

The final piece to be completed at the complex was the parking lot, which was finished this May and after that everything was completely paid for in July, said Toone.

Through attending events at the complex, Toone said the comments he has heard are positive.

“People are very happy, they think it is fantastic and incredible,” he said. “One big thing people like is the netting above the stands.

“Another rewarding comment was an opposing team’s coach said, ‘You’ve set the standard for a complex like this in the area.’”

The entire project was completed solely on volunteer labor and donations and there were no tax dollars involved in the project. Toone said he kept track of every person who helped in some way or another and the total came in at 300 individuals.

“It has been a phenomenal project,” said Toone. “It was great to be involved with it and it is great a community like Geneseo can come together to do this. I don’t know of any other project around to compare it to.

“A lot of credit goes to Bob Pettit, who managed and organized the work. He did an unbelievable job. He kept us focused and moving forward.

“The complex exceeded expectations. It is a beautiful complex and we need to keep it in great shape.”