JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Work crews have been busy this summer as changes are happening at Joe Mack Campbell Park in Jonesboro.
There are now two new large pavilions standing on the baseball field side of the park.
Director of Parks and Recreation for Jonesboro, Wixson Huffstetler, said this project was a collaborative effort.
"In the last month or so," Huffstetler said. "We've been able to install two 30 by 50 shade top pavilions out here at Joe Mack Campbell Park on the baseball side. This is in collaboration with my budget and also the Jonesboro Baseball Boosters through A and P money. So, we're very appreciative to have both of those entities on board with us out here."
Huffstetler said they want to keep people safe.
"The reason we're putting these in," Huffstetler said. "This is going to give the families and players somewhere to go in between games. To be able to cool off, eat, drink and not have to sit out in the sun. Because, you know, the ball park stays so packed during games and tournaments. One team is leaving and one team is coming in. This way they'll have somewhere to go and relax."
But there are some extra features in addition to shade.
"They can actually charge their phones," Huffstetler said. "Plug a fan in. Each post has a power source in it. The only thing we have left to do is install the tables. So, they'll be twelve picnic tables under each pavilion. There's plug ins on all four corners. We're also looking at installing fans in the middle of it to help cool them off too. So, we're working with a local electrician on that, as well."
Huffstetler said they hope to have the fans put in sometime within the next couple of weeks.
He said the Jonesboro Baseball Boosters are working on that right now.
The project has taken about a month and a half, so far, to complete.
"The structure had to be put in," Huffstetler said. "Then the shade stretched and the concrete. We were so dry for a while and then we started getting rain showers. So, it kind of started put me a little behind on the concrete. But now, it's all finished and done."
Huffstetler said he's excited to see the pavilions standing.
He said watching yourself and others when you're out in the heat is crucial.
"It's very important right now," Huffstetler said. "Myself, I continue to watch our workers. Keep them hydrated with Gatorade and water. I give them extra breaks. It's the same way with kids. You have to keep them cool. Make them rest and just watch their body temperature and watch the way they're acting."
But, Huffstetler said they're nowhere near done making improvements at the park.
"Future for the park," Huffstetler said. "We're looking at possibly putting in a new concession stand and rest room here on this new end of the baseball fields. Still going to put a few more of these shade top pavilions in. Would love to put a splash pad out here so the kids in between ball games can cool off and their brothers and sisters can go play in the splash pad. So, I'm looking at that. And we bought the land next to Joe Mack. So, we're looking at ideas of what to do out there and connect this park to that park and have one big facility. So, the future is bright. Very excited about it. A lot of hard work in the future and just figuring out how to pay for things."
Huffstetler said the city plans to budget for a new pavilion every year.
He wants to see one at every baseball and soccer field in the park.
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