Mother Nature has done its best not to cooperate this winter as the renovations at Camp Jordan Park continue.
After rains soaked the area in 2018 – according to the weather service, it was the wettest year on record – precipitation has continued. Within the last 10 days, some of Camp Jordan was inundated with flood waters. But city officials said the flooding was not catastrophic, as some feared, but just a set back.
“The set back was the rainfall, not necessarily the flooding,” Adam Wilson, the city’s director of Parks and Recreation told East Ridge News Online last week. “We just lost four days of work.”
The East Ridge City Council voted last year to borrow $2.3 million to make much-needed renovations in Camp Jordan Park. Those renovations include new fencing for all the baseball and softball fields; some new restrooms and concession stands; upgrading existing restrooms, and repairs to the arena roof.
Wilson said the recent rains did not damage the work that was begun on Jan. 14. Integrated Properties is building new restrooms and concession stands under a $1.157 million contract. Premier Fencing out of Murfreesboro has a $628,000 contract to remove the existing fencing and install new, higher-grade fencing on all the fields.
The contractors are on an ambitious schedule to have at least the first stage of the work completed in March. Wilson said in late February that the work on fields 1 thru 4 was anticipated to be completed by the second week of March. That timetable allowed for seven days of lost work due to weather. The work on fields 5 thru 8 is anticipated to be completed sometime in April.
Wilson pointed out the area where Integrated Properties was pouring a pad for a new restroom near the soccer fields on the north side of the existing parking lot. The larger restrooms and concession stand built by the East Ridge Soccer Association some years ago, will be updated.
The ancient restroom on the crest of the hill near the flagpoles in the central area of the park is gone. A new building is being constructed that Wilson said will not only be used for restrooms and a concession stand, but will be the main kitchen for the other concession areas of the park. The food cooked there will be ferried to the outlying concessions stands.
Across the street, the amphitheater is getting a fresh coat of paint, and the concession area that serves Weldon Osborne Stadium is getting a makeover of the interior and new plumbing and electrical service.
Talley Construction is continuing with putting in a service road to the new zip line area that The Adventure Guild is operating.
New bleachers will be added to all the fields, officials said. Those bleachers will be more comfortable for those attending the games as new shade structures will be installed to cover them. The total cost will be about $180,000.
Of course, all the baseball and softball fields will be renovated as crews will bring in additional dirt and top dressing.
“This is a big project,” Wilson said while showing this reporter the construction site. “This is just Phase I. We want to make this the premier outdoor and sports destination for families and teams who want to get outside and enjoy the park.”