Parents upset over condemned high school baseball field

REDMOND, Wash, -- With a six to nothing lead late into Monday night, Lake Washington High School's fighting Kangaroos baseball team could nurse a lead and call it a day.

The just couldn't do it in front of their home fans -- ever.

Lake Washington's baseball field was condemned two months ago and large yellow "danger" signs are plastered on the fence. Parents and the school district say it is in shambles.

"That field has been treated with benign neglect at best," said parent Sim Osborn.

Osborn lashed out at the school board Monday evening. He and others say the field has been overused to the point of no return.

"They should have known that that field should have been condemned years ago," he said.

The district actually agrees.

"(We) did a complete review of the field that there were some unsafe conditions," said spokesperson Kathryn Reith.

The problem is how the field got this way in the first place. Other parks and fields in the area often use an astroturf-type material. It holds up better in the rain and Pacific Northwest climate.

But it is also expensive.

So despite calls from Osborn and others, the district hasn't pushed for a fundraising drive. Instead, the field has fallen apart and is now blocked off from access. Superintendent Traci Pierce said "a lack of clarity" on the chain of command of maintenance led to the neglect.

Osborn's reaction to that comment included words that would get him tossed from the baseball diamond, big leagues or otherwise.

The district does plan to have irrigation repair, removal of existing grass, grading and creating outfield seating. Those improvements should be done by the fall but so far a cost is not known.