NEWBERRY — Now that Vincent Street Park has been renovated, the next priority for parks in the city of Newberry is for Kendall Park. Located at the corner of Glenn and Milligan Streets, Kendall Park will soon be home to Newberry County youth football and cheerleading.
The program is being moved from Oakland to Kendall Park to allow for the tennis courts to be constructed in Oakland, as well as to create a better opportunity for the city’s largest recreation sport — football.
Scott Sawyer, director of parks, recreation, and tourism for the city of Newberry, said that the youth football program ranges from flag football for 6-year-olds, up until youth reach age 12. It is the only county-wide football program. Including cheerleaders, Sawyer said they have 200 to 250 participants within the program.
The football field will be located where the current unused tennis court is in the park. Sawyer said that before council is presented with a more permanent location, he will look at the program’s room for growth.
“Because parks are council’s priority right now, we will develop a master plan for future growth so it’s (the field) put in an optimal place,” Sawyer said.
Park improvements such as those at Kendall Park have been discussed at past council meetings, as council really feels strongly about improving parks in the city for the community to enjoy.
Because Newberry City Council has requested that football be played on the new field next season, the tennis courts currently in that area will need to be removed, as well the area graded and filled. For football to be played on the new field, Sawyer said the project will need to be completed by June 2014.
Matt DeWitt, assistant city manager, said the area will have finishing touches similar to those at Vincent Street Park. This would include an irrigation system, lights, field goal posts, and permanent bleachers for fans.
The funds for the Kendall Park project have not been finalized but could partially be funded as part of the general fund budget. Upon approval of the Capital Improvement Plan, City Council will determine the funding sources for the project.
Sawyer said demolition at Kendall Park is anticipated to be completed by March, with bids coming in by April 2014.
“We want to hit the ground running with this,” Sawyer said. “Relocating to Kendall field will be phase one of what we see as a Kendall Field mini complex, serving the community for next 40 to 50 years to come.”
Elyssa Parnell can be reached at 803-276-0625, ext. 108 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.