District approves additional costs for Derby field project

At its first meeting of the school year Wednesday, the Berkeley Unified School District Board of Education approved the final designs for Derby Field — a baseball field whose renovation has been discussed for more than 15 years.

The district approved the project’s total cost of about $2.4 million, as well as an additional $150,000 to go towards improvements in electricity and water at the park, as well as better security of the dugout zone.

The grass field, located in West Berkeley on Derby Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way, will be converted into a baseball field that teams from Berkeley High School and Berkeley Technology Academy will use during school hours and that the community can use after hours. The board originally approved the project in June 2010. It is expected to open on Feb. 13, 2013, according to the architects in charge of the project.

When completed, Derby field will also include a full-size soccer field and a basketball court.

Weiru Fang covers local schools.