ACPS students work to design historic Burley Field

Published: Aug. 17, 2021 at 4:06 PM EDT
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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Middle schoolers from around Albemarle County spent the summer working with the UVA Equity Center to give their recommendation on what Burley Field should look like.

“We have been working on the development on the baseball field behind us,” Juan Barranco said.

Juan and Yuri Radcliffe are two of the ACPS students who dug into the history of Burley Field during their summer vacation.

“It used to be a wasteland, and they used to have it where it flooded a lot. So first we’re going to get a rain garden so the flooding will be gone,” Yuri said.

Through Project Pipeline, under the National Organization of Minority Architects, the students worked alongside Carmen Wright, Zymir Faulkner, and Gabriel Andrade to create a final design with the goal of turning their field of dreams into a reality.

“They’re the legitimate experts when it comes to reading the baseboard,” Andrade said. “They know what these field need, they know what the community needs.”

The biggest change the students wanted to see was for the baseball field to revert back to an all-purpose field with a 400 meter track around the perimeter. While that might not be feasible, there are many aspects of the plan that can and will work.

“New piping under ground, rain gardens hugging the side of the field closer to the third [base line], creating new exercise equipment areas, and just new playgrounds for every community and every member of the community to come into space,” Andrade said.

President of H3 Baseball, the organization spearheading this makeover, Jeff Burton says a Richmond architecture firm will be coming in on August 20 to look over the kids’ plans.

“We’ve built a wonderful coalition of folks here, but at the end of the day you need some technical people who can sit down and pull all of these plans together,” Burton said.

Even though these middle school students don’t attend Burley, they’re excited the work they’ve done will help shape the future.

“I feel real good to be a part of this,” Yuri said.

“We might go down in the books,” Juan said.

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