FARMINGTON — The first phase of a roughly $1 million renovation project at Ricketts Park could be finished as early as late April.

Although progress on the project has been hampered by a stagnant economy, the Connie Mack World Series Association's vision for an improved park, blending the area's history with modern comforts, is already taking shape.

"Basically, this is the first phase of two or three phases," said Kim Carpenter, San Juan County CEO and president of the Connie Mack World Series Association. "There's a number of things being done."

Passers-by can already see the new entrance and exit areas taking shape. Brick columns framing the exit are up, and work crews are busily pouring concrete and installing stone siding, all of which is intended to give the park a historical yet modern feel.

The project, Carpenter said, could not have come as far as it has without community support.

"Almost 90 percent of the funds were raised through donations," he said. "The support of the community and the businesses is amazing."

The association allocated about $200,000 toward the project from its budget, Carpenter said. More than $200,000 has been raise through community donations. In addition, San Juan County provided about $45,000 of in kind support — labor or other services instead of a financial contribution — to the first phase, while the city of Farmington contributed about $54,000 of in kind electrical work .

An official dedication ceremony for the stadium's renovations could take place as early as the end of April, Carpenter said.


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"If we're not finished (with phase one) by then, we'll be close," he said.

Carpenter added that the project would not have been possible without the city of Farmington's help.

"They've been great to work with," he said.

Farmington Mayor Tommy Roberts said he has been impressed with the project's progress.

"It is a center of community activity," he said. "The youth baseball program is housed (at Ricketts) and high school baseball games are held there. It's truly an asset that's owned by the taxpayers.

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Roberts said that the Connie Mack World Series itself attracts people from across the nation each August.

"That gives us some national exposure that we wouldn't otherwise have," he said.

The overall project will add to the ballpark's already stellar playing field, Roberts said.

"The playing surface has always been outstanding, but the amenities have been changed," he said.

For Carpenter, the renovation project carries benefits that reach far past the ballpark.

"This is great for the community," Carpenter said. "It'll be a good thing. When you look at the economy we're in, we're keeping people working. It's a real community-wide effort."

Greg Yee can be reached at gyee@daily-times.com; 505-564-4606. Follow him on Twitter www.twitter.com/GYeeDT.