By Jeff Rosenfield, Gazette correspondent

The Clearwater Little League baseball and softball facility has undergone a $3.3 million renovation, complete with a new concession area and six remodeled fields.

CLEARWATER — The Sid Lickton Sports Complex has been a vital part of the city’s youth baseball scene for more than 50 years. And thanks to a $3.3 million renovation, the Saturn Avenue facility should be home base for thousands of area Little Leaguers for many years to come.

The remodeled complex is scheduled to reopen next month following the yearlong project, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony slated for Feb. 15.

The newly redesigned complex features state-of-the-art advancements to the playing fields and the concession area that will allow for greater involvement for the softball and baseball players and their families, city officials said.

“Basically the entire facility was reconfigured,” Parks and Recreation Director Kevin Dunbar explained. “Before, we had seven undersized fields, where we now have five fields for five different leagues, plus a practice field as well as a full-sized juniors and seniors field.

“The big thing about having that (full-sized) field at this site is, now when a child ages out of the younger leagues, he can stay at the complex and continue playing until he is 15 or 16 years old. In the past, those kids would have to go somewhere else if they wanted to keep playing, and many of them decided to stop playing rather than find another facility.

“It’s good for the families and the community to keep those kids at Sid Lickton.”

In addition to the new fields, the complex also features a two-story building that will house a concession stand, press box, restrooms and five individual scoreboard stations. The building is at the center of a “flywheel” setup common to modern baseball complexes and serves as a hub for the entire facility.

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