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UPDATED: Krueger Field Grandstand committee moving forward

A look at some of the rot that has been detected under the seating of the grandstand at Krueger Field. Bob Williams/FOCUS

PERHAM -- A second meeting by the committee overseeing the removal and replacement of the grandstand at Krueger Field convened Friday, Feb. 3 and continued the focus on the design of the new grandstand and demolition of the old.

The group is operating on an aggressive timeline for completion of the project and increased efforts to raise funds.

After releasing information to the public on the proposed demolition, members of the committee received plenty of feedback from local and regional residents and many members of the baseball community.

The use of metal to construct the seating in the new grandstand was met with less than favorable opinions. Wood, by far, was preferred.

After reviewing a seating/bleacher arrangement sent by an aluminum bleacher company and comparing it to preliminary drawings of a wood structure forwarded by Tony Stoll, of BHH Partners Planners/Architects, those in attendance were unanimous in preferring wood over aluminum due to comfort, nostalgia, sound, and appearance.

The group has been more than willing to listen to the opinions of fans, former players and community members.

Estimates on the cost of wood versus aluminum will be forthcoming. Stoll's plan provides better sight lines, a steeper rise and a deck past the top row of seating.

The power and lighting issues at Krueger Field were also discussed with two regional companies stepping up to help begin the electrical phase of the project.

Local Otter Tail Power (OTP) representative Todd Barney has visited to the site with an OTP engineer.

OTP has agreed to donate a single pad and transformer to light the park.

According to Brian Mort, Arvig has agreed to directionally bore the wiring underground to each tower.

"Thanks to Arvig and Otter Tail Power of their continued support of worthy community projects," Fred Sailer said in meeting minutes to the committee. "These are both very gracious offers."

The field has been de-energized by OTP. A determination made on the wiring configuration and estimated costs are forthcoming.

City Manager Kelsey Klemm, received four quotes to tear down the existing grandstands.

Cost-saving measures have been a major focus of the committee and recent developments and contributions have made many of those discussion points a reality.

The city has been negotiating with the Amish and they will pay the city $10 to demolish the grandstands.

Demolition will begin as early as this weekend with a goal of being completed by the end of the month.

Discussions have taken place in regard to temporary fencing this spring.

"We intend to host high school baseball at Krueger Field," said Sailer. "We have however, told Section 6A officials that Perham cannot host the section tournament finals."

Goals for the project will remain aggressive. June 15 has been set for substantial completion.

Much of the timeline will be connected to securing funding for the entire project, which will kick into gear once plans are finalized on the specifics of the rebuilding.

A number of avenues are still in discussion on fundraising, including a five-year loan from the city, grants, and private donations from corporate sponsors to personal.

The school's student construction crew was mentioned as a possible resource to pour footings and bleacher and bench wood installation.

The efforts of the students would be at no cost and part of the classroom credit program.

Donations to the project will go to the city office. A separate account will be created to provide professional accounting and tax write-off opportunities for those making donations.

Donations have come in a variety of forms already.

JC Electric informed Sailer on Saturday night at the Home Run Club fundraiser that they would supply their labor at no cost and materials at their cost.

"Thanks to Craig Peterson, Terry and Bob Kalina for this donation," said Sailer.

Larry Mollins, Hans Hanson and Sailer had a table at the Home Run Club fundraiser where the project was discussed publicly for the first time.

The group received a number of personal donations to the project at the fundraiser.

To donate to the restoration of the grandstand contact Fred Sailer at 218-346-1615 or via email:

Robert Williams

Sports Editor at the Detroit Lakes Tribune. Williams worked prior as the Sports Editor in Perham for the Focus, a Forum Communications newspaper, from 2010-14. 

(218) 844-1442