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CRITICISM ISN'T DETERRING SUGARHOUSE PARK PROJECT

Plans for the renovation of a Sugarhouse Park baseball field by Highland High School are on track, despite criticism from a local group.

Highland High School Principal Charles Shackett told the park's board Thursday that more than $150,000 has been raised for the project. An additional $138,000 is needed to fund the renovation of the existing field.Under the proposal, the Highland High School baseball team and a Little League team with a history of using the field will have first priority at scheduling. The park board will maintain authority over the field.

But a watchdog group, Friends of Sugarhouse Park, has rounded up 2,000 names on petitions that they say show disapproval of the agreement.

Ray Pugsley, the group's vice president, said protecting the park from future developments is the goal.

Sugarhouse Park Authority chairman Ron Whitehead agreed. He said the signatures show the community's support of the preservation of the park, and that is his goal, too.

"I'll sign a petition to preserve the integrity of Sugarhouse Park," Whitehead said.

Board member Gene Davis said the proposal is a way to capitalize on limited money to renovate the park while enhancing the baseball diamond for public use.