Sportsplex, ball fields namedfor Lott, Buchanan, Dow

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, July 26, 2000

Recreation and community leaders Tuesday honored threeoutstanding Brookhaven citizens with the dedication of a new sportsfacility and two baseball fields.

The sportsplex was named for long-time physician Dr. Albert L.Lott and its two fields were named for educators Charles Nolan”Buck” Buchanan and John Dow. Brookhaven Park Commission officialspresented resolutions and gifts to family members during dedicationceremonies at the facility on Hamilton Street near Fannie MullinsSchool.

According to the resolution, among Lott’s many accomplishmentswere being the first black man to serve on the city school board,the first black doctor on staff at King’s Daughters Hospital, andhe served as a mediator during times of racial tension in the cityyears ago. Mrs. Glynn L. Washington said her brother was dedicatedto Brookhaven and would be honored to have the facility named forhim.

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“He loved you so much he never took a vacation during the 35years he practiced here in Brookhaven,” Washington said.

Fellow educator Jesse Buie recalled Buchanan as a caring manwith unique abilities in motivating young people. Buie said “Mr.Buck” cared about the community and the community supportedhim.

“It was because of men like Charlie that our community has grownto what it is now,” Buie said.

With a long career in education with the city schools and as a22-year member of the park commission, Dow had a “major hand” ingetting the new ball fields for the community, said Roland Wall,park commission chairman. Leona Dow indicated naming the field forher husband was appropriate and he would appreciate the honor.

“John was always interested in sports and in children havingextra curricular activities,” Mrs. Dow said.

Chandler Russ, executive vice-president of theBrookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce, said the sportsplexis a wonderful facility and the large ceremony crowd spoke highlyof the honorees. The support shown by recreation officials, cityand county leaders and others in getting the sportsplex built goesa long way toward making economic development easier, Russsaid.

“This is surely another apple in our wagon and for improving ouroverall quality of life,” Russ said.

The approximately $200,000 sportsplex is a long way from theopen field that existed near the school before 1967. That year, thefirst lighted field for Alexander High School and the parkcommission was built thanks to a joint venture involving the cityschool board, local manufacturers, the street department and thepark commission.

A second Alexander field was built in 1980 with a grant andcounty support. However, having no bathroom or concession standmade operation difficult, said Willie “Doc” Harrison, Tuesday’smaster of ceremonies.

Harrison said recreation officials were not satisfied andcontinued to press for better facilities.

In 1999, the sportsplex was completed and replaced the twoexisting fields.

The sportsplex features the two lighted fields, anair-conditioned press box, a modern concession stand and concretespectator area. The infields have a special material that allowsplay in inclement weather and portable mounds allow baseball orsoftball play for any age group, recreation officials said.

“We’re like ‘The Jeffersons,’ we’re moving on up,” Harrison saidabout progress of the city’s recreational facilities.