Park upgrades continue

Published 6:19 pm Thursday, May 19, 2011

City officials continue to make updates to Bicentennial Park, afew of which are just in time for summer vacation for idlestudents. Those looking for a fresh-air activity to occupy theirdays of summer break will even have some place to go as well.

Officials recently participated in a ceremonial ribbon cuttingfor the bathrooms in Bicentennial Park, which have been finishedsince about January and have been open for several weeks.

“We’re bringing it up to date where it should be,” said Ward OneAlderman Dorsey Cameron. “It should be well used.”

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The restrooms, painted according to gender on the inside, havebeen a sought-after commodity by aldermen for several years. Withno grants available, the board this year opted to fit the estimated$24,000 facility into the city’s budget.

“The mayor and the board voted on it and thought enough of thekids to fund it 100 percent,” said Brookhaven Parks and RecreationDirector Terry Reid.

The bathrooms are just one of several items city officials haveinstalled to improve Bicentennial Park.

The park was restored five years ago, the spray park inBicentennial Park was installed two years ago and last year thepark expanded through the purchase of some surroundingproperty.

“I think the quality of life is important to the community, notonly here, but the people you’re trying to attract,” said Mayor LesBumgarner. “Recreation is important.”

Additions to the park are not finished as a covered pavilion isexpected to be completed in about a week and officials are pursuinga grant to install a multi-use trail.

“I’m just excited about this park being here in Ward One,” saidCameron. “I think we’re going to do whatever we can do to improveit.”

Reid said the city should learn in about a month if they willreceive the $100,000 grant for the trail, which will be half of amile long and will run along the inside and outside of thepark.

“We don’t have a walking trail on this side of town,” saidCameron. “We need one.”

Reid mentioned he is confident that the city will receive thegrant because Brookhaven has the necessary funds to match the grantand is ready and able to go to work if given the opportunity.

“If they say do it, we’ll start on it quick,” said Reid. “Wewon’t fool around.”

While the park continues to see constant updates andrenovations, those hoping for a new place to shoot hoops will haveto keep dribbling elsewhere.

“I’ve always disagreed with having basketball goals over herebecause I’ve always looked at this as a family park for kids,” saidCameron.