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FRESH FIELDS: Pike recreation complex expanding

When recreation spring softball and baseball seasons start, there will be new fields and a different parking area for softball. The work is being completed by partnerships with the county and community members.

Two utility fields with all dirt infields are being built from scratch in the recreation department’s softball complex area. One field is 185 feet to the outfield fence and is for 6U/8U teams. The other field is 200 feet to outfield poles and 220 feet to centerfield and can be used for all age groups. Softball complex parking will now be across the creek as the new fields take up portions of the upper parking area.

“Softball needed more fields to accommodate growth. Currently, 6U and 8U have to share a field and 12U and 16U have to share a field. The new fields will give capacity to double our current registration for softball in all age groups,” said recreation board chairman Chris Childress. “Teams in 4U have always played on a football field but the new fields will allow for 4U to move to an actual diamond field for game play. Registration for 8U baseball has grown tremendously and the new fields will help to immediately address 8U growth.” 

In addition, there are other improvements underway. The softball concession stand will be remodeled and baseball fields have been upgraded as well.

“Eight existing fields have had sod cut off to improve dirt to grass transitions and all four baseball fields now have dirt baselines,” said Childress.

As usual, members of the community have helped keep costs down for the recreation authority. Grading was provided for the new fields at no cost by McNair X, a grading company owned by local resident Jim McNair.

“This project could not have happened without Jim’s generosity,” said Childress.

In addition, the Pike County public works department helped with grading at the facility as well.
During the Nov. 8 commission meeting, county manager Brandon Rogers said public works was helping with grading as the new fields are built.

“Public works is working with the recreation department and they have received donations from citizens in the county as well to do a lot of major projects,” said Rogers. He noted that the bids for the grading work were around $60,000. “Todd and his guys will do it at no cost to the recreation department and that goes a long way.”

Commissioner Jason Proctor said during the Nov. 8 meeting that the recreation department has made many improvements recently.

“Public works saved the county a bunch of money,” he said. “The recreation department has changed a lot in the past year and I want to thank the recreation board and public works for all their work.”

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