WILLIAMSON —With baseball and softball season now upon us, Williamson Parks and Recreation recently made some improvements to both Lefty Hamilton Park and the softball park next to the old West End swimming pool.
During a recent Park Board meeting, members of the Board approved the purchase of a new chain-linked fence to go on the backstop of the old grandstand at Lefty Hamilton Park, which protects attending fans and both dugouts and batted balls.
According to Parks and Recreation Executive Director Jarrod Dean, the previous fence had to be removed and replaced as it had became a safety hazard.
Dean said Hamilton Fence Company located in nearby Sprigg was contracted to install the new fence and began working on it early last week and had finished installing it by Saturday.
Dean commended Hamilton fence for how quickly they worked with Parks and Recreation to ensure that baseball games could be played at the park beginning this week.
“The goal that I have is to eventually revamp that entire grandstand,” Dean said. “Painting the structure steel, the columns and the beams and everything. I want to put a metal roof on top of it and just really revitalize that entire grandstand. I think that would enhance that whole area tremendously at that park.”
Both Mingo Central High School and Williamson PK-8 currently call Lefty Hamilton Park home while Burch, Kermit and Lenore also play games on the field at times.
About a half a mile away at the city’s softball park located next to the old swimming pool, Parks and Recreation made several improvements including a complete regrading and resurfacing of the infield.
Dean said that he partnered with Williamson PK-8 softball coach Cassie Diamond and that with the help of Zach Maynard of Veolia Water and Mingo County PSD they were able to cut out and scrape a brand new infield.
“We ordered all new bases for down there, we re-graveled the dugouts and put new benches in there. We placed a temporary fence in the outfield to make it a legal field...It quickly turned into basically building a new softball field,” Dean said. “We were just going to try to make it work for them but we ended up getting a lot of involvement and were able to get some donations for the field turface so it turned out very good.”
Dean said that he has already received feed back from some of the parents at Williamson PK-8 and other members of the community who have said the field is in the best shape they have ever seen it.
“I think getting the new fencing up and the improvements at the softball field is just another testament to the Parks and the development that we are wanting to do with improving and beautifying our properties,” Dean said. “That’s our goal, to keep making money through events and getting grant dollars and then putting it right back into the parks and cleaning things up. We are just getting started.”