PICAYUNE, MS (WLOX) - The City of Picayune has a brand new, high-tech park to celebrate. It took about four years, close to $1 million, and a lot of work to transform the space that is now known as the Crosby Commons in the City of Picayune.
"This is a venue the City of Picayune has never seen before," said Eric Morris, the city's public works director.
The property used to be the grounds of the Crosby Memorial Hospital, but the city acquired the dilapidated building, tore it down, and overhauled the five-acre lot.
The new park is being used exactly for what it was intended.
"I'm glad to see the old hospital torn down. I'm glad they made a park the public could use," said lifelong Picayune resident Glen Gibson.
"It's wonderful. It's beautiful. We needed this. We really did," Jeanne Hingle agreed.
Mayor Dr. Ed Pinero said seeing this day come to fruition means a lot for the city, and the fact that folks are already using it is a testament to how well the park was designed.
"This is a great thing for the city. In the past, they had to walk on the streets and sidewalks. Now, they can walk on the walking track. We have an amphitheater for our community band, our local courses," said Pinero. "It's going to be a great thing and a great gathering spot. We're just really excited about it. We start on projects and you get vision in mind, but then, when you can actually bring it to fruition, that's just a wonderful day."
According to the mayor, it took a collaboration of a handful of agencies and organizations to make the new Crosby Commons come out of the ground. A large portion of that help came from grants from the Department of Transportation and the Lower Pearl River Valley.
The fenced-in park features a walking track, lighting, and a state of the art outdoor amphitheater. Morris said that a last-minute grant made another piece of technology possible for the park.
"We were fortunate enough to get a grant from the Main Street Corporation that made the surround sound possible around the track, which is a real cool touch," said Morris.
Pinero said the park will be used for city and community events, and by those just looking to get some fresh air.
The history of the site can still be seen at the park. Bricks from the old hospital were actually used in the column entrances. Turf from the high school's football field was also used to sod the park.