Parks and Recreation provides spring update, future plans

Interim Parks and Recreation Director Gerry Logan provides a spring recap and future plans during the Starkville Board of Aldermen work session on Friday. (Photo by Logan Kirkland, SDN)
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LOGAN KIRKLAND
Staff Writer

The Starkville Parks and Recreation Department provided a spring recap and future plans during the Starkville Board of Aldermen work session on Friday.

Interim Parks and Recreation Director Gerry Logan discussed new programs like Toddler Time, the Tennis Apprentice program and the state of the parks initiative.

Toddler Time is an event based off of suggestions from residents who said there weren't enough activities for children from ages three to five years old. During these events, the gymnasium at the Sportsplex is reserved with an assortment of toys for the toddlers to play with.

The Tennis Apprentice Program is a program where residents can try tennis for the first time. Along with new events, Logan said there is still a continuation of karate classes, senior and arts programs. He said they are full on rentals and room space, and continue to stay busy.

"The program side is as robust as it ever has been, and we will continue to be that way," Logan said.

As for the State of the Parks initiative, Logan said they received a total of 168 surveys from residents. The initiative was to have residents establish needs, wants and concerns with the different parks in town.

"We were able to separate each park and kind of determine some short and long term goals we would like to do within each area," Logan said. "The state of the parks initiative was very successful and we got everything out of it and then some."

In terms of revenue, Logan said even with the year just starting, the department has made well over $5,549 in revenue from sports and sponsorships. He said much of the success comes from the Sports Coordinator William Pochop.

"That's an area we've seen as compared to previous years that's something that's way up," Logan said.

Logan said the department has worked on maintenance and improvements in many different ways. One improvement was installing much needed appliances in the Needmore Center.

Other improvements at the parks came from both community and departmental efforts.

Recently after vandalism, the department got a quote from an exterior company for the repairs that would cost around $1,000, but Maintenance Director Trent Helms and other Parks employees were able to do the repairs for under $500, saving the city hundreds of dollars.

The vandalism occurred at the beginning of the month, and it appeared to be caused by rocks being thrown at the siding of the bathroom resulting in a several large holes.

Through volunteer efforts with Starkville in Motion and Keep Starkville Beautiful, Moncrief Park and J.L. King Park had a clean up day. Moncrief Park also received newer landscaping at the dog park.
"It made a big difference and we are very appreciative of those community groups," Logan said.

Logan said the department has also renovated the softball field at J.L. King resulting in more use from residents.

As for newer additions, Logan said he is currently in the process of negotiating for second new playground unit for a park.

He said it is not finalized, but it would come at no cost to the city. As for the current playground unit at J.L. King, he would like to install a sign designating the ages of use on the equipment.
After being chosen for a grant, Logan said there will be an installation of a disc golf course, which would be installed in the back end of J.L. King. He said this will be great since that portion of the park is not utilized.

"We've been working with the disc golf club for that," Logan said. "They've put together a sample course proposal for us."

With the splash pad close to reopening, The Pilot Club of Starkville looks to install a bucket water feature for the splash pad in the coming weeks. The bucket would fill with water and periodically dump water.

Along with other grants, Logan said the department has received a $35,000 grant through the National Recreation and Park Association for the Walmart Foundation Healthy Out-of-School Time Meals Program.

JOINT-USE AGREEMENT

The Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District approved a joint-use agreement with the city and the school systems during its meeting this week.

The aldermen will look to approve the joint-use agreement during its meeting on Tuesday.

The locations, which could potentially be utilized include: Henderson-Ward-Stewart playground and multi use area, Armstrong playground an multi use area, Sudduth playground, Overstreet playground and park.
For indoor spaces and athletic facilities, there will be a request for SOCSD on an individual basis.

Logan said the department was looking at hosting a sports camp at Henderson-Ward-Stewart from June 4 to June 29. The proposed prices would be $5 daily, $20 weekly and $50 for the month.

POOL OPENING DATE

Logan said the open date for the Moncrief Park Pool is set for Tuesday, May 29.

The hours for the pool are as follows:

Monday through Friday:
• 11a.m. to 12 p.m. (Water fitness classes)
• 12 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. (Open swim)
• 5:15 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. (Family swim, until 7 p.m. if there aren't swim lessons)

Saturday:
• 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Open swim)
• 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. (Family swim)
• After 5 p.m. available for pool parties

Sunday:
• Pool will be closed on Sunday.

Prices for the pool:
•$3 or $5 for two people on Monday through Friday.
•$5 on Saturday

There is also a free sunscreen station, which will be located at the pool.

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