NEW BERLIN _ A new Little League baseball field, Chobani Champions Field, is being created on Fish Field at the top of School Street in New Berlin.
``It’ll be a regulation-sized Little League field, 200 feet from home plate to center field,’’ Matt Burrell of Burrell’s Excavating, Inc. said Wednesday as he supervised a crew that was leveling ground.
When the field is ready for action in about six weeks, it will feature new dugouts, a twostory concession stand and press box, complete with a handicapaccessible bathroom.
The field will be lighted, fenced and have bleachers along the first- and third-base lines.
Keith George, head of the Unadilla Valley Little League, said: ``They’re going to roll out the Kentucky bluegrass sod, and we’re going to play on it July 1. It’s incredible.’’ For the last few years, the Little League has been looking for a new home, he noted.
``We were interested in building fields up by Mill Brook, but that didn’t work out, and at Norton Park in Columbus, but that would have been difficult,’’ he said. One hurdle is the prohibitive cost of building regulation Little League fields, he said.
New Berlin Mayor Terry Potter said he knew of the Little League’s quest.
And while discussing some proposals with Agro Farma executives, Potter, who operates Millennia Entertainment, conveyed the situation.
``They were interested, right from the start,’’ he said. ``They wanted to help.’’
Agro Farma, which makes the nation’s top-selling yogurt, Chobani, has a wing, The Shepherd’s Gift, that funds ``small nonprofits and grassroots groups with a human element,’’ according to the firm’s website.
``In Eastern culture, shepherds are known to share generously with others, even when they don’t have much themselves,’’ it reads. ``It’s on this principle that The Shepherd’s Gift was founded.’’
Company spokeswoman Nicki Briggs said Agro Farma likes to help out around the world, but especially close to home.
``We’re happy to help the Little League,’’ she said. ``The games are family activities and this will be a nice place for families to gather.’’
George said he and others with Unadilla Valley Little League never expected such a fine facility.
``But Agro Farma wanted it to be nice. If their name was going to be on it, it had to be built right,’’ he said.
George said the growing firm has been good to the community, and the field is just the latest example.
``Look at all the jobs they’ve provided when a lot of people are having a hard time finding a job,’’ he said. The firm employs about 600 people.
Potter said Agro Farma has an admirable outlook on the community, and that other local firms working with it have contributed labor and materials to the project.