The new 8 Oaks Park is taking shape and will be ready for its first tournament in 16 weeks according to Paul McCulloch, recreation manager for Georgetown County Parks and Recreation.
“There have been no surprises,” McCulloch said. “We’ve been very fortunate with weather. The dry winter made it easier to do construction.”
Palmetto Corp., the general contractor, is working with about a dozen subcontractors.
Workers were at the park on Monday pouring cement for sidewalks, paving roads, wiring field lights and installing roofs on dugouts.
Bleachers should be arriving in the near future and will be installed behind each field between the dugouts.
The county has strived to maintain the park setting of the former International Paper seed orchard, saving as many of the remaining trees as possible and planting new ones to provide shade to sidewalks and parking areas.
McCulloch expects some people will prefer setting up a folding chair and enjoying a game in a shaded area rather than in the bleachers.
The complex includes baseball and softball fields of various sizes for different age groups. The fields are made of Georgia clay with Bermuda grass in the outfields imported from Orangeburg. Sodding of the outfields started in December and the grass has taken hold.
Dugouts are made of heavy metal fencing and each contains a water fountain and a covered bullpen attached so pitchers have a designated, shaded area to warm up.
Scoreboards have been ordered from Pepsi, which is the county’s official soft drink supplier. Pepsi is supplying the county with $63,000 worth of scoreboards and $30,000 worth of concession equipment for county parks.
8 Oaks sits on a 382-acre parcel on U.S. Highway 521. The state Department of Transportation recently added turning lanes at the park’s entrance on both sides of the highway.
The park is part of the county’s Capital Improvement Plan.
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 the visiting 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.
By Chris Sokoloski