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December 12, 2002

Baseball diamond being installed on grounds

From: Columbus This Week Newspapers, OH - 12 Dec 2002

ThisWeek Staff Writer

The Ohio School for the Deaf is installing a baseball diamond that will round out the school's athletic program.

The regulation-sized diamond is being built on the southeast portion of the 138-acre property near Morse Road and Indianola Avenue. It is the first official diamond in the school's history, Superintendent Edward Corbett noted through an interpreter.

"It's a place of our own, a field of dreams," he said. Construction on the $75,000 project -- which includes the diamond, dugouts, bleachers and fencing -- should be completed by spring. It will not be used for one full year to give the landscaping a chance to settle and firm up, Corbett said.

The school has a full complement of sports, including soccer, volleyball, basketball, wrestling and cheerleading, softball, track and field, Corbett said. There also is a baseball team, but there aren't facilities at the school to play the games, he said. Home games are played at local fields and schools.

The school will allow outside organizations, providing they meet state requirements, to play on the diamond with permission from the superintendent. Also there will be a fee schedule attached those activities.

The Ohio School for the Deaf competes against Division III and IV high schools, Christian schools and other schools from the Central States Schools for the Deaf, a coalition of schools from Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan and Illinois.

Corbett said the sports programs enhance the student environment.

"It is a very important part of our curriculum, and our boys and girls must learn how to compete against other teams and develop good sportsmanship skills," he said.

It's also a source of pride. For example, the wrestling team won second place honors at a tournament in Indiana, he said. The school also would like to further its sports program. Corbett is hoping the state will fund construction of a new gymnasium. The Deaf school will host a CSSD basketball and cheerleading tournament at the end of January. The tournament will bring in 1,500 people. However, the championship game will be held at Watterson High School because the deaf school's gym is too small. Corbett said the school also is need of newer facilities not related to sports programs.

"The facilities belong to the old century," he said. "We must make preparations for the new century by building new additions and installing appropriate infrastructures."

The 156-student Ohio School for the Deaf was founded in 1829. Its current facilities were built 50 years ago.

Paul Carringer, the neighborhood's representative to the Clintonville Area Commission, called the diamond a great addition to the school, the grounds of which have served as a fine recreational resource in Clintonville.

"It's good for Clintonville in that it will relieve some of the scheduling pressure that NCIL (North Columbus Instructional League) and the adult softball leagues face," he said, adding he hopes that residents will take advantage of the opportunity to use the facility and build more neighborhood relationships.

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