It’s been a busy few days at Gregg Park, Steve Beaman, superintendent of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, told members of the Board of Works on Monday.
More than 100 local athletes competed Sunday morning in this year’s TRY Knox County, he said, a triathlon and duathlon that begins and ends inside the park.
Another 150 youngsters and their families, he said, were on hand Monday for the official kickoff to the Vincennes Community School Corp’s summer feeding program. Kids indulged on a hot meal of hot dogs, corn and asparagus as well as fresh watermelon, Beaman said.
Officials with Sodexo Campus Services in conjunction with the school corporation this year added the enclosed shelter house as the park as well as Thursday Church at 218 Main St., and First Church of God, 1408 E. St. Clair St., in an effort to target more hungry youngsters than last year.
Other sites include a handful of local schools and 1792, a community center owned by KCARC at 711 Old Wheatland Road.
Last summer, the program, funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, served just over 20,000 free hot meals to local children.
The program continues through the end of July.
For more information, contact Sodexo’s Mike Szady at 812-882-2005 or Tara Lips, 812-882-2039.
Beaman also said the restoration of the Works Progress Administration-Era shelter house is complete. The only thing left to do, he said, is a final walk-through inspection from the Department of Natural Resources, from which the city got a $50,000 historic preservation grant to fund part of it.
The city chipped in with an additional $50,000.
Up next, he told the board, will be the replacement of the building’s roof, a project that had to be cut from the original project but that Mayor Joe Yochum has said he will fund with left-over money from the construction of the Riverwalk.
And Gregg Park’s new pickleball courts, Beaman said, should be open to eager players by the first of July.
With just a few things left to do, Beaman said they’re shooting for a tentative opening date of July 6.
“That’s not set in stone, but we hope,” he said. “They’ll be sealing that in the next couple of weeks.
“We’re excited for everyone who has been a part of this,” he said, “all the businesses and individuals who have come forward with donations of time and money.
“We can’t wait to get it open.”
Crews and volunteers led by Wofle Construction began construction of the courts in April.
Beaman announced in February that city officials had abandoned their plan to put pickleball courts at Four Lakes Park and, per the request of several local players, did away with the tennis courts at Gregg Park and put them there instead.
Several active players, including Don Page, Steve Wofle and Tyler Davis, are leading the charge with city officials, too, helping to pick up some of the cost.
Beaman said the group is also looking to sell sponsorships ranging from $250 up to $1,000.
For more information, contact Beaman at 812-882-7285.