By Bobby Bordelon
New scoreboards, restrooms, equipment, and a shelter are all parts of ongoing projects for the Lewisburg Public Works team throughout Hollowell and Dorie Miller parks. Although COVID-19 has resulted in several delays for city workers, a concrete slab has been poured and another is expected to be completed this week in Hollowell and Dorie Miller parks, respectively.
“All of this is part of our efforts to improve our parks,” said Lewisburg Public Works Director Roger Pence. “We’ve been saving some money to put towards that and all of it kind of happened at once, then shut down because of COVID.”
The newly poured slab continues the ongoing efforts of updating the park with more accessible restrooms. The new structure’s roof will also fall under the already-present structure’s roof.
“It’s detached somewhat, even through there will be a bridge way, but [it will have] two ADA compliant restrooms,” Pence said. “That’s what you’re seeing going up on the slab, two restrooms. … Mostly we just need the building to handle an increase volume of usage during key breaks, like the fifth inning stretch or halftime at the football field, the beginning of a game, the end of a game, there’s a a whole bunch of people, the public and players, that need to go at the same time and we weren’t able to accommodate that with just having two restrooms.”
Partially grant funded by a $38,000 Hollowell Foundation grant, the newly poured concrete slab is just one part of ongoing Hollowell Park improvements.
“The first part of the project] was renovation of the concession stand, and we finished that over the winter,” Pence said. “[It was made] more comfortable, more practical, more in line with safe serve guidelines, health department guidelines. That was the first order of business.”
Although the project was approved a year and half ago, a combination of COVID-19 and typical yearly work has delayed Public Works from completing the restrooms in time for the upcoming sports season.
“Because we have to use our staff and this is a busy time for us doing groundswork, it’s not going to be done very quickly to be honest,” Pence said. “We had originally had it scheduled at the end of winter, which would have given us time before the grass started growing to devote our resources to getting it built, but now we’re still in grass-mowing season and parks demading a lot of attention. … It won’t be ready for this season, which ends in October, it will be next year it’ll be available, as far as league play.”
However, the restrooms are far from the only ongoing improvement – more Lewisburg fields will be receiving scoreboards, with the full cost of the Hollowell board paid for by the Lewisburg Rotatory Club.
“We got two scoreboards – we had one funded already and Martha [Hylton] and the rotatory came in and said ‘we’d like to sponsor one of them,’” Pence said. “We gave them the opportunity to sponsor the one at Hollowell. … Both fields, one at Dorie Miller and one at Hollowell [received] score boards.”
The scoreboard in Dorie Miller park is not its only improvement. In addition to parking lot improvements, several pieces of playground equipment will soon be removed and replaced with newer items. A larger project is also taking shape.
“We just finished the parking lot and we’re building a shelter right there. … It’s a picnic shelter very similar to the one that on the hill [in Hollowell Park],” Pence explained.
The concrete slab for the Dorie Miller shelter is expected to be poured in the near future. Pence complimented the work of the contractor, J.D. Loudermilk, for his work on the slab and the concrete slab for the Hollowell restrooms.
“J.D. Loudermilk, who’s done the work that you see to date there on the slab, the masonry and plumming,” Pence explained. “Now [public works will] take it from here, essentially, do the roof and the woodframing part of it, electrical, and finish it out. He’s done a good job for us, I’m pleased.”
Despite the heavy maintenance schedule, Pence remains optimistic the projects will be completed soon.
“We were out for two weeks, everybody stay home, then for a couple of months we were essentially on a half schedule. … We’re finally getting back into the swing of things, even with a modified work schedule because of COVID. Trying to get some things done, better late than never.”