8 Oaks Park still a diamond in the rough

  • Sunday, February 26, 2012

By Chris Sokoloski


Construction at the new 8 Oaks Regional Park is on track to be completed in time to host a Dixie Youth "O" Zone baseball tournament in July.

"Everything is going really good," said Paul McCulloch, recreation manager for Georgetown County Parks and Recreation.

Six infields made of Georgia clay have been installed, and several of those have sod in the outfield, light poles, and the beginnings of backstops, dugouts and bullpens.

The site is a hive of activity with crews installing drainage pipes around fields and in parking areas, poles for backstops, and curbs and medians in parking lots, and wiring one of the concession stands.

The lower level of the concession stand contains bathrooms, a changing room for umpires and food serving areas. The outside area is shaded by eaves to provide relief during the hot summer months.

The upper level of the concession stand is an open room where volunteer public address announcers will sit, and has windows overlooking three fields.

The 382-acre parcel on Highway 521 used to be an International Paper Co. seed orchard and the county has tried to preserve as many of the trees that were left there as possible.

Parking lots have been altered and sidewalks redirected.

"I think people are really going to like this setting," McCulloch said.

"8 Oaks is moving along on schedule and we're very excited to have that park ready for use this summer," said Beth Goodale, director of county parks and recreation. "We have a whole slate of tournaments already booked and we're looking forward to bringing new participants to Georgetown County."

Around the county

Ground clearing is complete at the site of the new Stables Park in Pawleys Island. Work is about to begin on the building that will house locker rooms and meeting space, and a 700-foot deep well is being dug.

McCulloch said the county hopes to have the tennis courts and soccer complex open around Labor Day.

Work at other recreation sites is also heating up.

County Council recently approved the bids for work at Retreat Park; construction equipment should be at the site of the new Andrews park next week; and recreation officials are having a pre-construction meeting about work at Choppee very soon.

"Park projects are proceeding on budget and on time," Goodale said.

The county spent years working on construction estimates for new parks and as each project has gone out to bid there have been few surprises.

The next recreation projects on Georgetown County's agenda are Olive Park in Andrews and Pleasant Hill Park, which is next to the elementary school.

Volunteers needed

Georgetown County Parks and Recreation is looking for sponsors and volunteers for the 2012 Dixie Softball Darlings and Angels World Series and the 2012 Dixie Youth "O" Zone State Tournaments, which will take place in July at 8 Oaks.

Opportunities include host families for teams, workers at the opening ceremonies and players banquet, people to prepare souvenir bags, parking and gate attendants, announcers, scoreboard operators and hospitality room attendants.

For more information call McCulloch at 545-3319.

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