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Construction of Pirates new Latin American headquarters and training complex in the Dominican Republic progressing well08/12/2008 2:50 PM ET
The Pittsburgh Pirates announced today that progress on construction of the club's new Latin American headquarters and training complex in the Dominican Republic continues at an impressive pace and remains on target to open in time for the start of Dominican Summer League play in May 2009. Since the Pirates Chairman of the Board Bob Nutting announced the team's intentions to build the complex in January, the club has pushed the project forward on an aggressive schedule. The process began immediately with clearing the 46-acre property located in the municipality of El Toro and has been followed by the design and leveling of the playing fields, as well as installation of irrigation systems and fencing. Construction of the complex's clubhouse, administration offices and dormitory also continues to take shape with the completed foundations and construction of the first stories of each. Last week, Director of Pirates Field Operations Manny Lopez traveled to the Dominican Republic to oversee the installation of the sod playing surface for the complex's two-and-one-half fields, as well as to train the staff that will be maintaining the fields. "We are extremely pleased with the progress and pace of the construction of our new complex thus far. Once complete, it will be recognized as one of the best major league complexes in the Dominican and should give us a significant advantage in our efforts in the region," said Nutting. "In fact, the plans for the new complex and the increase in the Latin American operations budget has already started to pay dividends with the prospects we have signed over the past month." The Pirates announced last month they have signed a number of Latin American prospects during the current international signing period, including shortstop Yonathan Barrios, a 16-year old who was universally rated as Columbia's top prospect. "Finding and developing talent in Latin America is a top priority for our ballclub," said Nutting. "This complex demonstrates our long-term commitment to having strong operations in the Dominican Republic and throughout Latin America." The complex will serve as the new headquarters for the Pirates Latin American baseball operations, as well as a training and housing facility capable of holding more than two full teams. It will feature weight rooms, covered batting cages and pitching mounds, bullpens, trainers' rooms, classrooms, computer and video training rooms, conference rooms, administration offices and a dormitory that will be able to house and feed 90 players, coaches and personnel.
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