Edwards Field was acquired by the City of Apopka in 1938. It has a rich history as this timeline, constructed from an email from Apopkan Peter Jordon, shows:
- In the 1880’s baseball was a popular social event in Apopka. Apopka had white and “colored” teams that played high caliber baseball for three decades.
- In 1919 Apopka baseball popularity soared when Apopka had two of the best teams of the area.
- In 1929 The Apopka Baseball Club and a recreation committee and the City received a $14,000 WPA grant for Edwards Field Improvements
- In 1938 there was a big 4th of July event that included Baseball, track and field, three boxing matches and free barbecue. Later that evening there was dancing on Central and 2nd Streets
- In 1944 the City leased Edwards Field to the Army. The 351st Coast Artillery Search Light Battalion based its operations there. It was used as a military installation during WWII among other things. Use this link to view a map of the field circa 1944.
According to the Orange County Property Appraiser the Grandstand was constructed in 1970.
The possible demolition of the Grandstand is on the agenda for this week’s City Council meeting. According to the cover page for the agenda item the Grandstand was recently vandalized which triggered an inspection by the City. Several issues were discovered and the following cost estimate prepared:
- Treatment of active termites – $ 5,000
- Replacing wooden doors and windows – $10,000
- Updating structure to ADA compliance – Up to $500,000
The Recommended Action section of the cover page contains the following statement:
“The structure on Edwards Field is a fiscal liability. It should either be made ADA compliant and all safety and welfare issues resolved or demolished. In light of the estimated cost to restore the structure and the very real possibility of not being able to upgrade it to current standards, it would be more cost effective to demolish and build a new structure. Demolishing the structure could be done rather soon and planning a new building could take place over the summer during the budget process, should this be the desire of the Council.”
The City Council meeting is scheduled to begin after the 1:30 PM Workshop on Wednesday, March 29th.