It’s the Field of Dreams for a few employees of the Houston Airport System. But for those folks who pay for a plane ticket out of Houston or a parking fee, it’s a $55,200 bill for some airport staff to blow off steam or bond.
Records show that an HAS-funded softball field built in the spring on Will Clayton Parkway took 1,446 hours of work by city staffers, including paying an airport supervisor $30.96 per hour for 32 hours of work on the project.
A maintenance mechanic was paid $21.57 an hour for 104 hours for his work, and an equipment operator was paid $26.13 an hour for 569 hours of work. An inspector spent a full 8-hour day working on the field at $33.62 an hour.
Total payroll for the field, which was completed in May, was $33,504.
A softball field is nothing without a fence of course, where aspiring Curtis Grandersons can plant a long ball. The airport paid $11,891 for fencing in the ball field. And that soft infield dirt, the red kind? $7,080.
An airport spokeswoman said in an email that the field was built to promote “health and wellness initiatives, inter-business group participation, communication development” as well as in the spirit of “making work fun.”
“This idea came from employees,” said Roxanne Butler, the airport system’s communications director. “This was a way to get people engaged, and our new leadership, Mr. Diaz, has the idea of a high-performance organization in which people work well together. So this idea is to engage people, so on lunch hour they are playing together and getting together.”
The field was developed by an airport system employee.
A full presentation on the merits of the field was developed last summer. Read it here.
Editor's Note: This post was updated 10:30 a.m. June 23 with a submitted photo of the HAS field.
Contact Steve Miller at 832-303-9420 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Photo of baseball bats by flickr user PMillera4, used via a Creative Commons license. Photo of HAS field submitted by a reader.
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