Photo by Kathryn Ross
Work started in the Fall for construction near the southwest fence of Tullar Field.
By KATHRYN ROSS
WELLSVILLE — You can see it from the Arterial and from South Main Street, but what is it?
Last fall the skeleton of a wood-frame building took shape on the southwest side of Tullar Field, the softball field behind the police station. It stands out starkly against the grass and snow. It looks to be quite near the outfield fence.
But few people seem to know what it is, and conjecture has been ongoing at a steady pace — with guesses running from a refreshment stand to a field house.
Many people made qualified assumptions based on the knowledge that the ballfield is the Lady Lions softball team’s home. However, it is also the field where community softball teams play each summer. The questions are: Whose building is it, the school district, village or town of Wellsville or privately owned? And what is it?
Wellsville School District Superintendent David Foster confirmed that it doesn’t belong to the school district, but he was able to refer a reporter to Matt Burke, who cleared up some of the mystery.
Burke, a teacher at Wellsville and coach of the girls’ varsity softball team, said the construction is the beginning of 60-foot by 24-foot pavilion.
Construction got underway in the fall with the help of students in the Building and Trades Department on the Wellsville campus of Alfred State College.
“They’ve been great,” Burke complimented the students who are also involved in building the new town hall/garage just a few blocks away from the ball field.
“They’re the best,” he added.
Construction will be completed sometime in the spring, weather permitting.
Burke said the project will eventually include a pavilion with lights and a batting cage with turf.
It was Burke’s idea, he admitted. “It is just a place where people can sit on a summer night, have a picnic and hit a few balls if they want to,” he said.
As for who will oversee the pavilion just in case someone wants to hold a baseball themed wedding there, Burke quipped, “Let’s get it built first.”
He expects it will be scheduled the same way pavilions in Island Park and Lagoon Field are reserved, by calling the town clerk. Otherwise, it is open to the public.
“I just want it to benefit the community,” he said.
The construction is not being funded through any school, village, or town taxes he affirmed. The cost estimate is not yet complete. It is being funded from donations Burke said.
Once completed there will some sort of ceremony to officially open it, he added.