DENVER (CBS4) – Frustrations continue to grow for the John F. Kennedy community. Two days after CBS4 began asking questions on why renovations at the unsafe Kennedy baseball field were never finished, Denver Public Schools still doesn’t have many answers.

(credit: CBS)

“It was just a Band-Aid, a photo day, a photo opp,” said Ty Ilaoa, a former Kennedy baseball and softball coach. “There’s got to be some kind of accountability. Someone knows something. It was a big fumble.”

The Colorado Rockies and Major League Baseball provided the money last summer during the 2021 All-Star celebrations. But nine months later, and the field is still unplayable. A full renovation was never completed and the team can’t play home games because it’s unsafe. Parents and coaches tell CBS4, the field still has holes and irrigation and drainage issues. While district officials acknowledge there were “gaps” with different departments in the completion of the project, they still couldn’t really tell us who exactly dropped the ball.

“Internally, we had some challenges with the coordination,” said Jim Carpenter, the DPS deputy superintendent of operations. “Our facilities team, our athletics team, our contracting.”

While district officials originally told CBS4 the work on the field “was done too quickly,” on Thursday the superintendent backtracked that saying in a statement the “grounds were pristine,” and the facility was “immaculate” during the unveiling ceremony.

(credit: CBS)

“Well, the superintendent was out there and felt like it was pristine at the time,” Carpenter said.

Marissa: “ So how does it get so bad in a span of 5-6 months?

“That’s exactly what we’re looking into, that’s exactly what we’re trying to understand,” he added.

Parents and coaches agree the field did look good the day of the ceremony but was lacking the new dugouts, batting cages, and bullpens they were promised. And the big drainage issues on the field, they said those issues came back within weeks.

(credit: City County Denver)

CBS4 reached out to the contractor, Golf and Sport Solutions about the issues with the field. A representative with Golf and Sport Solutions said the work was done by a sub-contractor. That subcontractor told CBS4 they did everything the district asked them to do in the timeline that was given by the MLB, but they weren’t asked to fix the major drainage issues the field has or make any additions, like adding dugouts or even fencing. He said because the field is so outdated, those changes would have been very expensive and time-consuming.

“For the district, just back up what you’re going to say,” said Ilaoa.

Marissa Armas