The Ripken Experience
Barge Design Solutions worked with Ripken Baseball and the City of Pigeon Forge to transform a 120-acre farm into a first-class youth baseball facility and destination for players and families to enjoy. The project was funded by Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr. and Ripken Baseball. The park is owned by the City of Pigeon Forge and is managed and operated by Ripken Baseball.
The Ripken Experience features dramatic views of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the City of Pigeon Forge. However, the ridgetop site was a challenge from a design perspective. Site grading required as much as 103-foot cuts and 54-foot infills, with a total of 1.8 million cubic yards of excavation and 600,000 cubic yards of which was rock. Stormwater management included the use of an underground detention facility.
From the early stages of the project, Barge Design Solutions focused on how to use natural topography to the park’s advantage, creating an experience that visitors would enjoy. Working closely with Ripken Baseball, Barge Design Solutions decreased the initial cost estimates by 33% to meet the project’s budget, while maintaining the integrity of the design and vision for the park.
By the Numbers
The Barge Factor
The City of Pigeon Forge was familiar with Barge Design Solutions and the company’s parks and recreation work, having worked together in the past. The company’s experience with sports complexes in East Tennessee allowed the team to integrate the area’s hills and valleys into the project.