WAHOO – The renovation at Hackberry Park in Wahoo has taken major strides over the last year.
Patrons attending softball and baseball games throughout the summer have seen the improvements first hand.
The summer youth baseball and softball seasons came to an end on Monday evening. After a short break, activity at the park will ramp up again in the middle of August when the Bishop Neumann and Wahoo high school softball teams claim Hackberry as their home field.
“The park will get a little bit of a break before softball starts up again in August and between now and then we have a couple of projects that we hope to finish up,” said Wahoo Parks and Recreation Director Kevin Stuhr.
A total overhaul of field one was completed in July, 2018 and included a complete renovation of the of the existing fencing and backstop, the addition of two bullpens, a complete bleacher overhaul including the addition of a shade structure and the implementation of a new drainage system.
Concrete replaced wood chips from dugout to dugout and provides stable footing for the new wraparound bleacher structure which seats 500 fans.
After completing the renovation to field one, work began on the demolition and rebuild of an 850 square foot restroom area.
The project was completed in April and the new concrete building features heat and a room where can umpires and tournament officials escape the heat of the summer and a place to warm their hands in the fall.
The existing concession stand also got a facelift this spring. The concession stand was gutted and made larger and now has heating and cooling capabilities.
“By addressing the restroom and concession stand areas we took care of the most glaring acute deficiencies at the park,” said Stuhr.
Over the next month and half Stuhr hopes to finish an 8x18 press box at the top of the bleacher structure on field one and the construction of three new hitting cages.
The press box will house scorekeepers, the public address announcer and any media who may be attending the game.
The cages will be located to the north of Hackberry Street and will be similar to the ones added two years ago at Sam Crawford Field.
“We need to address the batting cage situation down there. The existing cage is not in the best place, when the ditch floods we get some water in there. The new cages will be south of field one,” Stuhr stated.