NORTH SMITHFIELD – Two new baseball dugouts are on track to be added to Pacheco Park in the upcoming months thanks to an ambitious Eagle Scout project that gained approval this week by members of the Town Council.
Adrien Sousa of Troop 1139 Slatersville told council members he plans to build the AAA dugouts behind the minors field and concession stands with work to begin either this fall, or spring of 2021, depending on statewide limitations aimed at distancing to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
In a presentation of the project this week, Sousa said he estimates it will cost $1,250 a piece to erect the dugouts, money he intends to raise through upcoming fundraisers, including a bake sale, and a clam cake and chowder dinner at St. John’s the Evangelist Church.
“I used to play baseball a lot as a kid,” Sousa told councilors. “I want the kids who are entering Little League to have a better experience than I did, because when the sun’s beaming down on you and it’s 95 degrees, it’s good to have nice shade over your head. That’s what I want to provide for them.”
Sousa noted he anticipates a total of 285 work hours to be put in between himself and his volunteers, including prep work such as digging holes to be filled with concrete. The scout first presented the project to his troop in June, and said he has already invested 14 hours in tasks such as planning and visiting the park.
The new dugouts, he said, will be similar to the softball dugouts at the other field at Pacheco Park.
“They’ll be a little sturdier and better material,” Sousa told councilors. “I will be there to project-manage the entire effort.”
Councilors unanimously approved the project following Sousa’s presentation at a virtual meeting on Monday, Aug. 3.
“It looks like you’ve got a well thought-out plan, and it’s well articulated,” noted Council President Paul Vadenais in granting the approval.
The Eagle hopeful must still have his planned fundraising activities approved by the Narragansett Council, but in the upcoming months Sousa said he hopes to seek sponsorships from local families and businesses. Troop family members, he noted, will be donating baked goods to be sold at venues including Brigido’s IGA in Slatersville and St. John’s.