Groundbreaking: Long-awaited Culpepper ballpark expansion begins

BY Jan Murray

  • 15 September 2016
  • Author: Admin Assistant
  • Number of views: 1288
Groundbreaking: Long-awaited Culpepper ballpark expansion begins
City leaders and particularly the recreation department have been eyeing the building of the two new ball fields for several years, but actual planning, designing and budgeting only occurred in the last 12 to 18 months.“Seeing the dirt being moved and the project actually being started this soon feels wonderful and makes me very excited to know that it should be done for the upcoming year,” said Recreation Department Director Brook Beasley, who also took part in the ceremonial groundbreaking.“The season of play for the year 2017 will begin early spring around March…We plan on hosting tournaments on the existing and new fields once the fields are usable…Hopefully, we will have new interest from different teams and areas,” Beasley said. “The fields will be rented out to bring in revenue during our off-season. Once we start playing we will be entered in for our district tournament draw, now that we will qualify to host. Qualifications require at least four fields, which we will have (by Spring 2017). Our district plays Dixie baseball and softball.”Scheduling games for the recreation department has been a balancing act, but the new four-field complex will ease up that strain.“The new fields will allow us to have a full four field sports complex and will make scheduling games easier and more convenient for our staff and teams,” explained Beasley. “We were rotating teams from ages ranging from four to 15 years of age and had to balance out games weekly on two fields and, in the past, different locations. Having all four fields at the same location will allow parents with multiple kids on different teams to be able to attend multiple games without traveling.”Beasley added that the complex should enhance revenue for the city with out of town visitors coming to Daleville for hosted tournaments. Plus, she said, “The complex will give the kids and community pride to have a nice upgraded facility.” Both softball and baseball will be played on the fields.Following groundbreaking, City Councilman Scott Moore told the Sun-Courier, “We are happy to see this get started. It’s been a long-time coming. It’s going to be a great thing for the city, a revenue generator. It is good to see dirt getting moved.”Mayor Claudia Wigglesworth said, “I am very excited about having a high-quality recreational area, not just for the citizens of Daleville, but also to draw other teams from around the region, to come and discover Daleville.”Alan Killen, one of the Civil Southeast engineers on the project, said people will see “a lot of dirt being moved” over the next few weeks, trees in the wooded area cleared for the building of a detention pond which will stop problematic flooding of the park during rainy times, and then ball fields taking shape. Killen said the contractor will be working quickly and that the ball fields and adjacent facilities will be completed in time for spring ball play.City Councilwoman Kathryne Horace said she is excited for the new ball fields and she is “looking forward” to the city bringing in others to play on the fields, thus creating a revenue boost for the city.“It’s going to be something that the community will be very proud of and can be involved in,” said Horace. “I believe we are going to be pleased with the end results…We are so excited about it.”City Councilman Marvin Wise remarked after the groundbreaking ceremony and while watching contract workers moved mounds of earth, “I’m glad to see it on the move. A nice ballpark like this will bring a lot of interest. With the improvements to the park and tournaments, we are going to bring in a lot more revenue…It’s going to be a good thing.”
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