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New fields, programs coming to Tom Fontaine Park in west Macon

There will be two new baseball diamonds and an AstroTurf field for soccer, flag football, and lacrosse.

MACON, Ga. — A west Macon ball field is about to go through another renovation.

Eighth grader Brandon Willis looks up to the basketball, football, and baseball players he sees on TV.

"You'll see me on there one day," said Willis. 

The athletic fields he uses are limited. He goes to Tom Fontaine Park off Anthony Road almost daily. It's just a short walk from his house.

"Right now it looks good, but when we get the new field it'll look better," said Willis. 

Jeff Battcher says the field improvements are five years in the making. He works for Macon RBI -- which stands for Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities.

He plans on building two more baseball fields and an AstroTurf field for flag football, lacrosse, and soccer at the park. 

Battcher says they'll also provide all the kids with balls, bats, and gear to play. 

"They live in a part of town that doesn't have all of the assets," said Battcher. 

Battcher says more than 80% of the kids in their baseball league can't afford the $50 registration fee. He says that shouldn't limit kids.

"This now levels the playing field for kids in this neighborhood," said Battcher. 

Battcher says the Housing Authority will bus kids from their properties to come to the field. 

He says that will help more than 3,200 kids who don't live near the fields. 

"Sports helped me stay out of trouble, when I have my mind on something, I get better at, instead of running around the streets," said Willis. 

Battcher says they're starting construction before the end of the year, and the fields will be ready within 100 days before the start of baseball and softball season.

The Boys and Girls Club and Macon Little League all use the fields currently. 

Battcher says kids at Hartley Elementary School will be able to use the field during recess time too.

The project will cost $1.5 million, with $750,000 coming from Macon-Bibb County.

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