Trying to keep it “in house,” Pelican Park is looking to redevelop an unused baseball field called Green 5 into something else either recreation or fitness that might target adults. The budget for this redevelopment will come from the operating budget of Pelican Park, and will be an investment of $500,000 – $800,000.
Comments were solicited from the public, and recommendations included an indoor Olympic-size swimming pool, complete with diving. However, the estimated cost of that type of project could be upwards of $25 million, and that would not work within the park’s budget.
Green 5 is a 4-acre area which used to be used for baseball, but with over 30 athletc fields, it now stands “idle.” It is situated around the center of the complex, and the lights that used to light the field no longer meet the safety requirements, and the cost of bringing them up to standard would be too expensive. Also, baseball programs for older kids are no longer offered at Pelican Park.
A study to determine the best use of the 4-acre plot was awarded to Neel-Schaffer, Inc., an engineering, planning and construction management firm, at the cost of $20,540. Ideas of what might replace the field included pickleball outdoor courts, bocce, horseshoes or shuffleboard, outdoor fitness area with exercise equipment, a shaded picnic area, or a walking track.
A board of directors meeting held February 28th took the recommendations of Neel-Schaffer, Inc., and decided to use the space for an exercise / activity area with walking trail, outdoor fitness equipment, a 3/4 acre pond and six pickleball courts.
“Other elements of the project include areas for bocce, horseshoes, shuffleboard and a small section where poles will be erected for ‘hammocking.’ The plan also involves razing one maintenance barn near the ball field and converting a second barn into a pavilion,” park director Kathy Foley said.
“We’re moving forward with it,” Foley said. “We think it will offer something for people who might otherwise not use the park.”