- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 15, 2015

NORWAY, Iowa (AP) - The eastern Iowa city of Norway, which was long known for its high school baseball teams before the school closed years ago, has agreed to take ownership of a beloved ballpark this week.

On Monday night, the Norway City Council voted to take over the site from the Benton Community School District, which owns the field as part of its merger with Norway Schools in the early 1990s, KCRG-TV (http://bit.ly/1L9t4hS ) reported.

No Benton Community team currently uses the field, though a local team in the city practices and plays games on it.

The school board held a public meeting last week about soliciting bids for the property, and the part of any sale would include a pledge to keep the property as a ball field.

Leaders in Norway haven’t yet decided how they’ll oversee the ball field; one idea floating around is to appoint a group to oversee the field and operations.

Jim Van Scoyoc, who had coached for Norway baseball, is heavily involved in determining how to care for and improve the field. He said Benton Community Schools spent around $4,000 a year for basic maintenance, but that it’ll take more money for the kind of improvements he’d like to happen.

Van Scoyoc said that he would like to see enough renovations that would allow the field to host high school tournaments. He’d also like to see major league baseball scouts, who once conducted camps and tryouts for baseball players at the field, to return as well.

A 2007 film, “The Final Season,” had featured the Norway High School’s most recent state championship in 1991. The television station reports that the community, with a population of fewer than 600, produced 20 championship teams over the years.

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Information from: KCRG-TV, http://www.kcrg.com

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