Sportsplex additions under way thanks to help from G-P, workers

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, November 30, 2005

A building under construction at the Lawrence County Sportsplexwill provide food, play-by-play commentary and restrooms when it iscomplete this spring.

Construction started on the octagonal field house earlier thismonth. Crews have poured the slab and are currently adding plumbingto the site.

When complete, the building will house public restrooms and aconcession stand on the first floor. The second floor will containa conference room, a small storage area and press boxes facing eachof the facility’s four softball fields. The second floor also willhave restrooms with a walk-in shower for officials to use.

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The old concession stand will be moved to the soccer fields toprovide food and beverages to that growing area of the facility,said Kenny Platt, a member of the Lawrence County SportsplexAssociation.

“Eventually, a concession stand will be built there, too, andthe old stand will become a storage building,” he said.

It is only through the cooperation of Georgia-Pacific’sMonticello Mill that the project has begun at this time, Plattsaid.

At approximately $250,000, project bids came in much higher thanexpected when the town advertised for a contractor to construct thebuilding, forcing the town to postpone the project.

When Georgia-Pacific learned of the delay, it stepped forward toadd the sportsplex to a long list of community projects inMonticello, Platt said. The company donated labor and materialsworth approximately $150,000. The town then borrowed $100,000through a capital assistance program to complete the projectfunding.

“G-P has taken up the construction of it,” Platt said.

G-P maintenance employees are spending their days at the siteconstructing the building while city crews tie in sewer and waterand county crews supply large equipment as needed. Some inmatelabor is also being provided through the Lawrence County Sheriff’sDepartment.

“We don’t mind coming out here. We like helping the community,”said Kent Nations, a G-P employee.

Danny Stokes, also employed by G-P, agreed.

“I would have done this on my own time,” he said.

Platt said they hope to have the building operating by earlyspring but admitted it was a demanding deadline to meet as therainy season and cold weather closes in.

“They’re wanting to get it completed by March, but it will betough,” he said.

The new building is part of an ongoing effort to make the parkcapable of hosting large, statewide tournaments, Platt said.

In addition to providing some much-needed entertainment in afamily atmosphere, Platt said they hope to draw a large number ofpeople to the facility for tournaments to help in boosting thelocal economy.

Visitors would not only purchase concessions at the park, hesaid, but teams and their parents would also need food, lodging andgas while attending tournaments.