Cross­ing fin­gers to com­ple­tion

With a few more projects re­main­ing, the Mir­a­cle League field will be fin­ished in time for a 2014 sea­son

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - SAMANTHA REAR­DON news@cov­news.com

Mir­a­cle League con­sul­tant Ta­mara Richard­son is cross­ing her fin­gers in hopes the Mir­a­cle League Field will be ready around Au­gust or Septem­ber 2014.

The Mir­a­cle League com­plex has been an on­go­ing project by New­ton County Re­cre­ation to pro­vide chil­dren of all abil­i­ties with the op­por­tu­nity to play base­ball.

Richard­son re­leased a list of up­dates on each re­main­ing project and re­mains hope­ful they will meet dead­line.

Fi­nal steps to com­ple­tion

In what Richard­son de­scribed as a won­der­ful part­ner­ship, the con­ces­sion and re­stroom build­ing was just com­pleted last Thurs­day by DOC in­mates, who worked four days a week for more than a year.

“From lay­ing out the first foun­da­tion to the last bit of paint­ing and in­stalling the fans, they did ev­ery­thing in the build­ing,” Richard­son said. “They pretty much built the build­ing from the ground up.”

Though us­ing in­mates made the process take longer — the build­ing took a year and a half to fin­ish — Richard­son be­lieves the ad­van­tages are greater.

These ad­van­tages in­cluded hav­ing skilled la­bor­ers free of charge. In­mates were able to of­fer elec­tric work, plumb­ing and other skills to con­struct the build­ing.

Ad­di­tion­ally, the use of free la­bor saved them an es­ti­mated $700,000$850,000.

Richard­son also said it was a way for the in­mates to give back to the com­mu­nity.

“It’s been a won­der­ful re­la­tion­ship we’ve forged with the DOC,” she said.

In ad­di­tion to the com­pleted build­ing, as­phalt for the Mir­a­cle League Field has been down al­most 30 days, cur­ing in prepa­ra­tion for the ar­ti­fi­cial turf that makes the field safe and wheel­chair ac­ces­si­ble.

“By mid-July I hope that we’ll see some turf on the mir­a­cle league field,” Richard­son said.

Af­ter the turf is laid, Richard­son said they can be­gin adding fin­ish­ing touches like bleachers and dugouts. Light­ing in the park­ing lot and on the field will be added within 30 days.

Some land­scap­ing was pro­vided by lo­cal agencies such as the Cov­ing­ton Kiwanis Club, who planted about 45 trees on the grounds in April. More land­scap­ing will be added in the win­ter due to tem­per­a­ture con­cerns.

Richard­son said the “poured in place” sur­fac­ing for the uni­ver­sally-ac­ces­si­ble play­ground will be one of the last things to be in­stalled.

“Our play­ground is the first in the county specif­i­cally for chil­dren with spe­cial needs in mind,” she said.

The play­ground’s equip­ment was put to­gether last Oc­to­ber with more than 200 com­mu­nity vol­un­teers. But be­cause con­struc­tion is still on­go­ing, chil­dren will have to wait un­til the grand open­ing to play on the equip­ment.

Fi­nally, Richard­son hopes the budget will cover costs to pave the sec­ond, multi-pur­pose field ad­ja­cent to the Mir­a­cle League field in ar­ti­fi­cial turf as well.

“It’s look­ing like we’ll be able to do it, but we don’t want to do that field un­til mir­a­cle field is 98 per­cent fin­ished,” Richard­son said.

Once the project is com­pleted, she hopes to fol­low it with the first sea­son of Mir­a­cle League ball.

“When we first started this we knew it was prob­a­bly go­ing to take longer than an­tic­i­pated, but it will be well worth the wait,” Richard­son said.

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