The proposal of an indoor baseball facility in Penticton has drawn “great excitement,” according to council, who didn’t hesitate in giving the project its first green light on Tuesday, Aug. 16.
As local youth baseball players sat at the back of council chambers with their Penticton jerseys, the project was formally introduced as one that would see a 7,000 square foot multi-use sports building come to 1603 Dartmouth Road.
Owners of the indoor facility plan on offering services like hitting seminars, softball camps, coaching clinics and year-round academies, among others. Council quickly approved the development permit.
“I know there’s a great deal of excitement in town and I just wish this was around when I was playing slo-pitch,” Coun. Katie Robinson said with a laugh. “It’s long overdue.”
Known as Grand Slam Baseball Okanagan, the owners say their facility will give people a chance to enjoy the sport during the winter months, while incorporating up-to-date technology for pitching and hitting clinics. The indoor space will feature 5,000 square feet of artificial turf.
Thanks to council’s first approval, the project will head to a public hearing on Sept. 6.
“This is a very popular development,” said Penticton mayor John Vassilaki. “I can say thousands of good things about this and the developer, so, congratulations.”
Counc. Campbell Watt, meanwhile, didn’t waste any time in giving the proposed facility sky-high expectations.
“Not to put pressure on being the next Okanagan Hockey School, but…,” he said with a laugh. “This has been such an impressive collaboration from the proponents.”
Owners plan on hosting birthday parties, yoga, lacrosse and physical and mental training for athletes, along with the baseball services they hope to offer.
The facility will be the first of its kind in the South Okanagan, said the developer.
Several letters were submitted to the city by groups from across the community, both baseball-related and not, endorsing the project.