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PYEONGTAEK, South Korea — The U.S. Army in the Daegu region is overhauling two ball fields to give both a bigger role in sports and recreation for troops and families, officials said Tuesday.

Work is already under way at Camp Henry and Camp Carroll to renovate ball fields, adding artificial turf to each and making other improvements, said Darryl Chandler, Area IV’s community recreation chief.

And still in the design stage is a third project, a revamp of Camp Walker’s Kelly Field, a big parade ground that also serves as an athletic field, Chandler said. It too will be covered with artificial turf.

“This is absolutely wonderful news for the community because … we will have three state-of- the-art multipurpose fields,” said Chandler. “We can play football, baseball, softball and soccer and be able to utilize those facilities practically year-round with little or no maintenance to them.”

At Camp Carroll, the $3.1 million project at the post’s existing athletic field began last May and is set to finish in June, Chandler said. The work is being carried out by Sankye Construction Co. Ltd. of Yongin. Besides putting in artificial turf, the project will add a running track, install new lighting and fencing and overhaul the existing restroom area and press box, he said.

At Camp Henry, the $2.8 million project will give the existing Victory Field new lighting and increased storage for athletic equipment, as well as artificial turf, Chandler said. Handong Construction Co. Ltd. of Suwon began the work in October and is to finish in early June.

The projects at camps Carroll and Henry are being done under contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

At Camp Walker’s Kelly Field, plans call for a $5.8 million overhaul that will resurface the field with artificial turf, install a “brand new” running track with a soft surface, add new lighting, a gazebo and new picnic area, Chandler said.

The Army hasn’t opened the Camp Walker renovation project to competitive bidding yet, but once renovated, Kelly Field will continue to serve as a parade ground for change-of-command and other military ceremonies, he said.

“As a result of this project we’re going to maximize the utilization of this area by adding a scoreboard and ball field at the far end,” he said.

The addition of artificial turf is significant, Chandler said, because “your ability to use [the fields] after inclement weather is dramatically increased.”

“A lot of times with traditional ball fields, they’ll get rained out,” and you have to wait until the water soaks into the ground, he said. “But with artificial turf, you’ll be able to get teams and soldiers right back into play much quicker, with no damage to the field.”


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