Frequently Asked Questions
These are things that have surfaced in recent days as the dialogue has begun to increase. We will continue to add to these as trends surface. Please contact us if you don't see your question answered here or elsewhere on the site.
What is our biggest obstacle at the moment? Misinformation is arguably the biggest. Overtime, the lack of broad spread accurate information and clear communication/direction has impacted momentum. The hope is that through increased and more effective communication, we can reconnect with the many reasons this project is important for our community and regain meaningful traction.
Why has so little measurable progress occurred for so long? Why has momentum been such an issue? The complexity of the project and inconsistent attention /leadership have been key issues. It has taken years to get an understanding of the complexity of a project of this nature in the city of Corvallis, its ties to the land use agreement of the new Corvallis HS (built in 2005), and ramifications of Title IX. The costs attached to those basically double the cost of the project. It has taken time to assimilate that information, work through some of the frustration that naturally occurs when things are harder than anticipated, and then determine how best to move forward.
Would Eric Dazey step aside or defer to and then support those that are better positioned to lead this effort? Yes – he would support whatever positions our community best to get this project completed.
Why has it been so hard for the community to get accurate information about this project? The general strategy for large projects like this is to get somewhere near 50% of the funds raised prior to going public with the task. For the reasons described above, we hovered at about $200,000 for a long time and the project stalled. It is hoped that through mechanisms like this and others, we can keep our community better informed.
Who owns/is responsible for the site and how does that impact this project? Corvallis School District 509J owns the property and, generally, all of the structures. That means that codes, permits, and things such as Title IX that apply to school structures and property very much apply. That said, the school district has long granted permission to the American Legion to use and responsibly upgrade the site. Maintenance of the site is hard to articulate but generally things that require maintenance because of American Legion or Corvallis High School SUMMER baseball use fall to those entities to maintain whereas the school district takes or shares in the responsibility for things that are related to the school’s usage. Given its other priorities, the school district is not inclined to build a baseball stadium that is wellsuited for the summer night and tournament baseball our community has long embraced. Given all of that it makes sense for this to be an American Legion project. This gives a tax-deductible entity through which funds can be raised and work can be contracted without some of the bureaucracy and regulations that are tied to the district (i.e. requirement of prevailing wage for laborers). That said, it is important to remember that while it is beneficial to channel the funds through the American Legion Baseball Program, we must work with the school district, and the completed work must fit the standards of the school district for such facilities (i.e. not made of wood or overseen by those without proper certification).
What are the things about Title IX that are pertinent to our situation? The responsible place for the district is to avoid any inappropriate imbalances in the experiences athletes at Corvallis HS have based on gender. Given that, this process may create a gap in offerings that has the potential of being worthy of a claim. As a community, the principled thing is to think broadly in hopes of creating the greatest possible good wherever possible. We want better facilities for everyone possible and the work we seek to do to impact the baseball facility on a school district site will require some enhancement of the softball facility. There has been communication with Corvallis HS softball over the last few years about how best to navigate this: what needs to be done and how best to do it. Collaborative efforts have been discussed and there are leaders in the softball community that are aware of the issues. That said, the Corvallis HS Softball community has been stretched thin the last few years and it is hard to know how ready they might be to execute an atypically large fundraising campaign. Regardless of who funds it, the Corvallis School District 509J will require that meaningful work be done to support Corvallis HS Softball in conjunction with the Hansen Stadium Project. In conceptual conversations, it appears this will require $60,000 but likely would not exceed $100,000. These figures are included in all of our cost discussions but could be eliminated if the needs of softball were met through some other means.
Where is the money that has been donated to the project? Note that we raised $60,000 in the spring of 2011 to re-do the playing surface and re-irrigate the entire facility. The opportunity to do that work at about ½ the cost came to us through a CHS baseball alum Ty Patton and his Master Professor in the OSU School of Horticulture Rob Golembieski. Most of this money came from CHS baseball, CHS Boys & Girls Soccer, CHS Athletics, the operations account of Corvallis American Legion Baseball, and 509J. This was considered a Corvallis High School project and was separate from the stadium effort. L & H Grading (Jim Beck) was integral to this project. The money that has come to the project via the Kevin & Nicole Gregg, The Ernie Hansen Memorial Fund, The Corvallis American Legion Post #11, Corvallis American Legion Baseball, The VFW, The Corvallis Knights, and in-kind donations by DEVCO Engineering, Steve England Construction & L & H Grading have gone into the design and construction of the dugouts and installation of drainage systems necessary for a project like ours. The other money that came in during our initial drive came from many in the community and totaled just over $30k. That money is still in the bank ready to pay for the design work that has already been done and permitting costs that are forthcoming when we are ready to start that work. The rest of the giving has been in the form of in-kind or monetary commitments that will continue come to fruition as the project further unfolds.
What are existing and potential naming or recognition options for those that give? Originally, we communicated that $100 donations would secure recognition on a brick, $250 - $300 donations would secure naming on a bleacher seat, and $1000 would be recognized on a stadium seat positioned behind home plate. As we move forward and consider the possibility of people giving over years, it will likely make sense to keep this or a similar structure and have multiple seats that recognize such gifts. However, it may be that there is a better way to acknowledge those that have given. Regardless, those that have given in the past will be woven respectfully into any plan that evolves moving forward. Those original gifts gave this large project its initial life and have been pivotal. Regarding even larger gifts and naming of structures, that process will require the formation of a committee and 509J School Board Approval. There is a hope that we will be able to meaningfully recognize those that support this effort in extraordinary ways.
What role has/will Tom Gerding and his company play given his work with and ongoing sponsorship of the American Legion Program? Richey’s Markets gave way to Gerding Builders in 2011. Coincidently, that is the period of time where the project stalled due to the unfolding complexity mentioned above and Eric Dazey’s need to cut back on the attention he had been giving to the project. Tom and his staff have been enormously generous as we have worked through this tough stretch. The sense of community and great energy that Mr. Gerding brings to his sponsorship of the team is evident in every conversation. He has made it clear that Gerding Builders will construct the structures we aim to bring to the site and do so at minimal cost to the community.
Have we spoken directly with all of the former Marketmen to play or coach in Major League Baseball?
We have secured some gifts and commitments from these special individuals but there is more work to do here.
Have we optimized communication with service groups and others capable of giving in town? No. With information like exists in this document, more are positioned to create possible streams of income like these.
Have we applied for any grants locally or nationally? Yes. But, as is often the case in such things, we need to continue to be persistent and make our case.
Are there others beyond Corvallis American Legion Baseball that will benefit from the reconstruction of Hansen Stadium at Taylor Field? Yes. In addition to the American Legion team, three other summer baseball teams play at the site, Corvallis High School’s three spring teams all use the facility for practice and games, and both Corvallis High School’s boys and girls soccer programs use the facility for both practice and games. The lights play a key role in fitting all of this activity onto a relatively small and landlocked campus while honoring student time during the school week. Beyond all of this, it remains possible that the reconstruction of Hansen Stadium at Taylor Field could play host to a variety of community events on summer evenings.
Does the project need help? YES! First and foremost, we need to continue to promote consistent dialogue to get accurate information to the broader community and all stakeholders. Beyond that, we need people that can give in large and small ways. Strategic in-kind work and/or financial gifts will be necessary. However, leadership of drives and events as well as support for such things will be critical. Please join the conversation and contact Eric Dazey with ideas as appropriate.