MMI Preparatory School received a grant from the Department of Environmental Protection Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation (BAMR) that it will use to make repairs to its baseball field. The repairs are to correct drainage problems caused by water growth in an abandoned mine slope under the outfield.
MMI experienced minor water issues on the field during the 2016 baseball season but the winter melt following heavy snowfall prior to the 2017 season and rains prior to the 2018 season caused pools of water to develop on the field. The baseball field was dedicated in 2012 and used for five seasons before the drainage problems made the area unplayable for the 2018 season. The Preppers played all but one of their 2018 games at the Freeland Babe Ruth field in Drifton. School officials are hopeful that the issues can be addressed in time for the team to return to the field for the 2019 season.
Ryan Jastremky, MMI Business Manager and Varsity Baseball Coach, said, “We thought the heavy snow leading up to the 2017 baseball season, especially the March storm, as well as rain before the 2018 season caused us to see much more water on the field than we have had in the past. Sections of the field were just puddles and water was bubbling up from the ground onto the field.”
In the spring of 2017, MMI consulted with architect Architerra, PC and contractor Franzosa Trucking, Inc., about the water issues but since the fields eventually dried out, no corrective action was taken at that time. When the issues reoccurred in 2018, a community member suggested that they could be mine related and MMI contacted the BAMR to conduct an investigation. After meeting with MMI administration, the Chairman of the MMI Board of Directors’ Property Committee, the contractor, and obtaining water samples and further research, the BAMR concluded underground mine drainage was the source of the water that was affecting the playability of the field.
MMI Head of School D. Scott Wiggins expressed gratitude to those who assisted MMI as the school dealt with the issues.
“We were fortunate to have the ability to use the Freeland Babe Ruth field over the last two years and we are grateful to Freeland Babe Ruth President Robert Rogers and Emmett Thomas for their cooperation,” Wiggins said. “The work done by our Facility Director Joseph Stepansky, our Business Manager and Varsity Baseball Coach Ryan Jastremsky, our Property Committee, and the outside agencies gives me great hope that we will get back to playing on our home field as soon as possible once the repairs are made.”
For more information about MMI or Prepper Baseball, please contact Marci Hosier at 570-636-1108 Ex. 136.