Closed school’s fields now used by former competitors

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

The school is empty and abandoned, a ghost building that remains as a relic of a boom time in the Fort Wayne (Ind.) educational system. When Fort Wayne (Ind.) Elmhurst High closed last June, the school's final day was supposed to be the last anyone would see of the school grounds or facilities.

Less than a year later, that's no longer the case, with three different schools using the Elmhurst athletic facilities to help alleviate issues with their own athletic fields and track. According to the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, Fort Wayne (Ind.) South Side's baseball and softball teams are playing on the Elmhurst fields this spring, using the closed school's fields as their own home grounds.

Notably, South Side is playing on the team's baseball field with its original name -- Derbyshire Field -- while the South Side softball team is competing on the newly indoctrinated South Side Field. Perhaps appropriately, both South Side teams feature a handful of former Elmhurst players, some of who you can see playing in the Elmhurst baseball program's final game, above.

While the school's baseball fields may be building a new legacy for the former school, the longtime Elmhurst track has an even more high profile tenant, with runners from Indiana Tech University training on its surface.
Whether the new use of the fields is incredibly resourceful or simply a bit ghostly remains to be seen. Reusing perfectly suitable athletic facilities for different programs struggling with new financial constraints can only be a good thing, but to do so at a school which no longer exists must seem an odd sensation at best, and perhaps a disconcerting one for athletes who long identified themselves as Elmhurst players themselves.

Either way, its certainly a sign of the new financially strapped times we live in that when a school is closed, it's costly athletic facilities don't necessarily close with it, no matter how close they are to new schools which petition to use them.

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